Sunday, November 29, 2015

And I can't even throw a shuttle

I went to the gallery today to deliver the last two garments I was able to make from nothing. Two weeks ago, delivering two scarves I made "before the fall," Diane mentioned a customer demonstrated her yoga skirt and said one in handwoven would be cool.

What are you talking about?  I now will know a yoga skirt if I see it on a person exiting a yoga studio. If you run wearing yoga pants or spandex, if you ride your bike wearing spandex, if you actually practice the art of yoga, the activities conclude, and you and your friends  duck into your favorite coffee shop for a latte.

God forbid your butt  hang out now, so you throw on your yoga skirt. It's only job is to cover the same butt that jogged the trail, rode the bike or did downward faceing dog. Mine was not to question, especially as a yoga skirt merely is a sixties wrap skirt, that anyone can make. Even a weaver with only one decent length of fabric in her stash.

Always too clever for my own good, I decided to put a series of button loops on one side of the fabric and buttons pretty much around, for a rather infinitely variable size feature. This so I could avoid making draw strings, though I remained on the hook for twisted cord. I made the skirt, and I did not like it. Nevertheless, I would hang it on the rack and see if it went off in a bag.

This morning I decided it needed a tweak, so back to the sewing machine. On the way by I put it around my sister's shoulders. Like it was meant to be, there hung an understated little wrap that buttoned down the front. I immediately made another and delivered two. I forgot to take a picture. I did do a count of coat hangers on the rack and see I've sold another ten or so garments this month. And, I cannot throw a shuttle.

It has been four weeks, and my intention of being half through the ordeal isn't panning out. Two sets of  X-rays show no separation, but one round of therapy was disheartening. A couple of the exercises were cake, but another showed up a problem I already put up with--severe arthritis in that shoulder. Moving the arm away from my body now is too painful to contemplate. I made it through three snaps of my shoulder. "It sounds just like a rachet," I groaned. "No more!" Jamie laughed and said that's exactly what is is called, racheting, as bone spurs snap past each other. I must bring this to the attention of the orthopedic fellow this week.

I hope I find another Plan B around the corner.

I neglected to take a picture of my yoga skirt cum shrug this morning, but here are pussy willows behind a gallery, with no idea it isn't spring. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Another Friday, another football game

Hudson is three for three in the sudden death playoff games. Unlike last year, with a lot of snow on the ground, this fall was unseasonably warm. Unlike last year, when the football team surely would be defeated in this fourth game, and was, mercifully ending the marching band season for a jaded old grandma, there seems little chance of a defeat tonight.

Unlike last year in the snow, tonight it is cold and raining. Somehow snow falling in the stadium lights is more bearable than rain beating relentlessly on a game where the band’s chief job is to help maintain momentum for the team, especially when they never truly were invested in the outcome of any football game. 

Adding insult to injury, the knowledge that a good number of fellow marching band members have been “called off” by their parents in order to keep the Thanksgiving holiday. I believe I am safe in saying Emily believes as I do, she signed on for the bad times as well as the good, and Liam and Joe’s parents are of the same opinion. 

So, another Friday, another football game.

But, there was no joy in my car when I loaded on my two complete opposite brothers. Joe, the pessimist, was wallowing in angst, while Liam, the optimist, would not cut his brother a millimeter of slack or sympathy. They remind me of my own two brothers, one of whom considered himself superior to the other, and shot tiny, ill disguised barbs frequently. The major difference, my brother who took the abuse was a pacifist who seldom retaliated.

Before we left the curb, Joe began a litany of worries. I thought his father’s back looked discouraged as he walked back into the house, and I soon saw why.  Liam started in on Joe at once for his negativity. Joe responded. Liam responded. Joe yelled to just shut up, he didn’t want to fight. Liam yelled to Joe to shut up first. 

I figured they still were sugared up from yesterday, so I asked Joe if he had a nice day. Yes, the best Thanksgiving on record. Liam at once asked why Joe was so negative today. Joe yelled he didn’t want to fight. Liam needled again. Blows were exchanged, an interesting phenomena with one as front passenger and the other in the back seat driver corner, and both strapped in. I pulled to the curb and informed them they would be returned to their father forthwith, if unable to restrain themselves.

We drove on, with silence from Joe, needling from Liam,  Joe bellowing for Liam to shut up. I told Liam to shut up a couple of times, myself, but he was as unable to lay off Joe as Joe is to not verbalize anxiety. Suddenly Joe asked I not tell his mother. I assured him she would only know if a police report must be filed.

If there is a God in heaven, this team must lose tonight. If you agree, clap your hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Another week in a sling

Well, it’s interesting, this eight week (from my lips to God’s ear) side trip, life in a sling. When I played silly games with my brothers we would pretend to be blind, or roll an arm up in our tee shirts to immobilize it, and pretend how well we could function, handicapped. Ha! Double Ha for my brothers, one of whom broke a leg and the other an arm (twice!). I don’t recall having sympathy for them.

The worst is the clothing. Even without appearing in public, it is mental humiliation to look like a bag lady. From bottom to top, I cannot tie my shoes, though I can put on socks. I can pull up both my underwear and my “petite ladies’ jogging pants”. The pants are not S or M, they are XL, with a drawstring. With only a moderate struggle, they come up.

No bra since the one I removed to go to bed in the infamous cozy flannel gown that snatched the legs from under me three weeks ago. As vain as I am about size ten trousers, front zip, I am more vain about arranging my over sized chest. Oh, the humiliation of appearing to be contained in a camisole, or, worse yet, a men’s undershirt.

Every morning my sister, or a granddaughter removes the sling, then the nightshirt, gets me into a soft and warm oversized denim shirt I’ve had for years. We reverse the process at night. So much for the TMI intro, unless it convinces you to shorten your cozy flannel gown to knee length.

To drive my car (yes, in public), I have the seat enough forward to use my knee as my left hand on the steering wheel. Joe was disbelieving the first time, and I could feel him mentally steering. Two weeks later he simply is distraught over the continuing post season winning streak. Last night’s team was the only team considered able to beat them, and it failed. Poor Joe.

The first two weeks I limited myself to driving around town. There is plenty of that, between work and schlepping children four times a week. Yesterday I elected to drive myself to the doctor. I went over the route mentally, planning on being a sedate old granny driver who would endanger no one with one handed driving.

It is far easier to cruise the freeway with one hand than city streets. I had my nerve back at the first merge and soon could mutter, “Get your damn BMW up to speed, old man; don’t make me pass you! Oh, well, you were warned. Hasta la vista.”

I stopped at the bird seed store. If I bought two seed cylinders, the feeder was free. The cylinder has meal worms in it. I bought two, so Laura could say "Ewwee" when she put them up.

Our old cylinder feeder. Laura won't give them a new cylinder until the old one is cleared away.

The new suet feeder with a tail paddle board to make woodpeckers feel like they have a tree under them. The feeder has been discovered, though I've seen neither a bird or a squirrel on it.

It is such a cold and dreary day. But, many inches of snow are falling on my friend Ann, in Wisconsin. No complaining, Joanne. Only five weeks to go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Youthful exuberance

I’ve mentioned, Emily is taking service classes, where at pecuniary expense to grandma, she is learning to be a good person. I’m noticing, senior year seems to be about service. Emily became a member of Honor Society, for instance. I paid a membership service fee, and she must contribute more service hours to maintain good standing. Fortunately she likes to knit, so joined knitting club, to churn out scarves for community donations.

But, I digressed, cynically. Hopefully I have not degraded the best story of all. This very same service class that sees her assisting in an elementary school two half days a week, has another service requirement. Or perhaps this time it is her English class. All this service is becoming a blur.

This assignment is, with classmate Olivia, identify a person who would make them uncomfortable, seek out such a person and do a kindness for the person. I listened to the brainstorming and potential acts of kindness and swallowed my hilarity. When the plan began to unfold, the devil’s advocate driving the grandma bus laughed her way to tears once or twice.

Who would make them uncomfortable: a priest.

What could they do to promote understanding between themselves and a priest: bake cookies.

Still not laughing out loud, I gave them the name and number of the priest at Mother of Sorrows in Peninsula; Olivia’s mother provided the same for St. Mary’s in Hudson. They never made contact with Father T in Peninsula. As he’s a bit long winded as well as a bit of an old curmudgeon, probably the best.

So, two young women kept an appointment with Father Pat in Hudson. It turned out, he’s a nice young man who did take the opportunity to opine his place in eternity is known to him, and he suspected the destination of the young women was yet to be determined, as neither attends a church.

What did Father Pat think would increase understanding between a priest and them: rake parishioners’ leaves. Oh, and bake cookies for the members of his youth group to eat after said raking.

Forgive me, by now I was laughing out loud. Just for starters, every two plus acre lot in Hudson is maintained by a lawn service. It would take an army of tender handed rakers, with their dad’s nonexistent rakes, to move the leaves on one lawn to the curb. But, Father Pat would take care of that.

Last night they baked cookies in St. Mary’s beautiful industrial, stainless kitchen. The bakers who showed up:  Emily, Olivia, another Olivia recruited by the original team, and Emily’s boyfriend. 

They baked so many cookies that after they set aside enough for today’s leaf rakers there were dozens to give to their school secretaries as a random act of kindness (one of my suggestions in the original brainstorming).

How many teenagers plus one priest can rake a yard: Emily, Olivia, Olivia, Emily’s boyfriend and Father Pat raked the front of the parish house to the curb. What of Father Pat’s crew? They were too tired to participate.

Well, that service project is over. Oh, and Emily has been accepted to Hiram, and her initial scholarship award is for four years and covers 30% of her tuition. She didn’t even apply for this one; it’s based on her grades. Wait till she goes for the community service scholarship award. Just kidding.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In the orthopedic office

Just a week ago I broke my arm. I fell smack on the point of my shoulder. The humerus broke at a place called the surgical neck. No separation, no cast. Hooray! I was in the hospital two days, because the pain could not be controlled (and I’m one tough old lady!). The made sure I could walk and climb stairs, had someone to take care of me at home, knew my patient rights, could manage clothes…..they never made sure the sling was on properly!

I still was a ball of misery when Beth brought me home, where she had a front button gown waiting to replace the ankle length flannel that tripped me up and sent me down, and which must be cut off. Linda called. The weaver of beautiful rugs and former psychiatric nurse. You don’t get anything over on her!

“Don’t even think about a bra!” she thundered. As if I could move enough to even get it on and comfortable.  But I did not like as much loose anatomy as mine rubbing around. “Go to the Dollar Store; get men’s’ muscle shirts, three to a pack. Just step in, get it pulled up, tuck it up under the boobs!” Easier said, but my personal assistants got it done.

I had a shower Sunday evening, and my personal assistants constructed my attire:

Grey sweats (pride goeth before the fall of the woman who owns no pants without zippers!)
Men’s muscle shirt from the dollar store.
A turtleneck from my closet.
The yellow plaid night shirt Beth made appear overnight from Woolrich.
The sling.
My front zip hoodie around my shoulders.

“I look like a Wallmart person,” I lamented.

“No, no visible thong,” my sister replied.

I had to report to the orthopedic doctor Tuesday afternoon. Save clean underwear, my costume was unchanged. Oh, well.

The doctor’s assistant was a most dour thirty something. She was all business, no smile. After the preliminary computer work, she handed me a gown.

“That won’t happen,” I said.
“But the doctor…”
“It won’t happen. I am not going through the pain of un and redressing for anyone.”
“How did you get dressed this morning?”
“I haven’t been “dressed” since Sunday. No gown!”
“You’ll have to take that up with the doctor,” she sniffed, and left.

Half a magazine later, the doctor came in. “Here, let me adjust that sling properly!”

The pain in my shoulder diminished by half!

Back in a week for new x-rays. One week gone, seven to go!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Across the hall

The nurse began to close the door.

“But those two patients…”

I didn’t mind them, and enjoyed the bustle I could not see.

Two patients yelled constantly. As it was the orthopedic floor, I’m sure most had good reason to make noise. I learned, as I left, one was mentally challenged and one suffered dementia.

I sorted them into two souls early. One called constantly, with a tinge of terror, “Help me.” She was the background.”

The other’s words seemed to change, but I was a day sorting them out to follow her chant. She incessantly called,

Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help!”

                                                            (What she wanted.)

“Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here! Here!”

                                                            (Where she was.)

“Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed! Bed!”

                                                            (Her specific location.)


I doubt any nurse had leisure to sort out that. I pointed out the word we were hearing as I was being discharged—here, here, here. As we went down the hall to the nurse station the word became bed, bed, bed. As I finished signing and was scanned out came the “Amen,” then silence—for a bit.

And I came home.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

New news

I fell Thursday and broke mr arm.  I'll keep up with all of you, but no one finger posts.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Last Wednesday night band practice!

Since last August there has been Wednesday night marching band practice. Tonight was my last trip to practice with Emily, Joe and his brother, Liam. Who knew, three years ago, that my traffic defying chase of Joe’s mother to the high school, so I could park behind her, put my face in her window and ask if she would car pool would turn into a dynasty.

The first two years I had Emily, Hamilton and Joe, with Hamilton the big guy in the front seat. Last year Emily claimed front seat, but this year Joe definitely is the big guy in the front seat, with Emily and Liam back. Next year it will be Joe, Liam and Laura. Then Liam and Laura. Then….

I love Joe in the front seat. Joe is on the Asberger spectrum. He has a high anxiety level and a photographic memory. I hear book pages turning in our discussions. He mercilessly cuts me off at the knees when he can no longer wait to disagree with me, makes his point and then tells me to go ahead and make my point.

If I’m not involved, there are great free ranging discussions among the three of them. I enjoy teen age give and take. Joe’s high anxiety level often breaks through; he cannot stop himself from worrying if the band will perform up to the expectation of the director, if the opposing school’s band will diss them after the game, and so on. Emily and I used to march him in lockstep through the reasons to be positive; Liam, in true little brother fashion, tells him to knock it off.

Joe learned to drive last year and has his license. His mother would not let him drive to school until this year, and though he drives himself and Liam to school and back, he cannot drive them to band practice on Wednesday or for a game on Friday because Ohio has a wonderful law banning teenagers from driving in the dark with a passenger.

I can feel Joe driving my car for me, from his seat. Sometimes our feet press the brake pedal simultaneously; sometimes he is a fraction ahead of me. Tonight, for the second time in three years, I took a different route, right out of his street because I would be ten minutes turning left against all the traffic. I had an immediate “Where are you going?”  I told him we were taking the freeway. “Oh, OK,” and he relaxed into the seat.

Traffic was unusually heavy tonight, however. Suddenly, “Oh, this traffic makes me car sick,” and his voice meant it. I had cold air blasting on him a second later, and he picked up where he left off, on the merits of military marching bands compared to show and corps style. I had nothing to contribute to that discussion, so kept on inching and driving, until I delivered them and turned off the air.

I did hear one small “Sto….” thrown into a sentence when I may not have noticed the car ahead of me stopping. I will miss that boy. But, I’ll still have Liam, who is another inimitable person, whip smart and beautifully opinionated.    

And if Hudson is defeated in its first playoff game on Friday, my marching band season is over until next August. Here’s hoping.