Saturday, August 21, 2010


So, I'm in the middle of Jasper Fforde's Lost in a Good Book, and I come across this:
I bought a ticket, hurried to the check-in and spent ten minutes listening to a litany of pointless antiterrorist questions.

"I don't have a bag," I explained. She looked at me oddly, so I added, "Well, I
did, but you lost it the last time I traveled. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a bag returned to me after tubing."

She thought about this for a moment and then said, "
If you had a bag, and if you had packed it yourself, and if you had not left it unattended, might it contain any of the following?"

She showed me a list of prohibited items and I shook my head.

"Would you like an in-drop meal?"

"What are my choices?"

"Yes or no."


She looked at the next question on her sheet.

"Who would you prefer to sit next to?"

"Nun or a knitting granny, if that's possible."

"Hmmmm," mused the check-in girl, studying the passenger manifest carefully. "All the nuns, grannies, and intelligent non-amorous males are taken. It's technobore, lawyer, self-pitying drunk, or copiously vomiting baby, I'm afraid."

"Technobore and lawyer, then."

--------- Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Char is probably laughing herself silly at me right now, but I am getting seriously hooked. I mean... I actually had to stop reading this book for a short time, because... I got so stressed out when the main character's husband disappeared, and I couldn't help but take it personally!

And I am seriously in love with Pickwick the Dodo, and her "Plock, plock, plock." I want a dodo. I want a herd of dodo's wandering around in the backyard, nibbling on the vegetation and making "plock, plock" noises. Doesn't matter that they're extinct. I want one.

*brief discussion follows with the Husbandly One about the short story, "The Ugly Chickens"*

This is a relief, actually, because I've been in a bit of a reading bind, lately. I had picked up a newish Anne McCaffrey at the library, Catalyst, but... I just couldn't get into it. And the Husbandly One, who is a Vine Voice for Amazon and somewhere in their top 5000 for his reviews, sometimes gets freebies from Amazon if he's willing to review them. So, he gets books, and if he isn't interested, he gets Miss Priss or myself to read them and tell him what we think. Mind, the books we get are galley proofs that still need a lot of editing, and I try to keep that in mind, too, but... this last book THO got me... I couldn't read. It was a Mercedes Lackey book, Much Fall of Blood and I have to say, I had to give up halfway in because, seriously, the last time I was that confused, I was reading a somewhat incoherent fan-fiction. I'm hoping the copy I got was seriously preliminary because the story would leap perspective literally mid-paragraph. One second, I would be reading it from Character A's perspective, and the next, it would skip Characters B, C, D, and J, and leap all the way to Character Q. In the same sentence.


It seriously screwed with my poor brain. And... I was never sure if we were Viking Werewolves, or Mongol vampires, or Viking Mongol Undead, or WHAT... because... well... like I said, let's hope this was just the extremely un-edited version, because O.O if it wasn't!!!

So, it was a very nice relief to get back in to a Thursday Next book.

And by the way, I recently finished My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme, and it was awesome I absolutely loved that book. It makes me wish very much that the movie "Julie & Julia" had been "Julia Child: My Life in France," instead. It would have been a much better movie, seriously.

And in case you're wondering at my sudden volubility, I have lost my voice (probably thanks to the stress of the last few days), and the Husbandly One has made me a very, very strong hot toddy, so Jo is pleasantly squiffed. Plus, I am very, very tired after a rough day of shopping for school supplies... on the tax-free weekend.

Prolly should have had the hot toddy before going school supply shopping, because seriously... ugh.

Next year, I'll start buying in July, when the supply lists come out, and save myself the hassle. I don't get the grabby, pushy, shove someone out of the way so you can snatch the one out of the 250 other boxesof the same thing that someone else already has their hand on. I don't do touchy-feely; I do ouchy-bleedy.

Oh, yeah, one man in particular learned a very harsh lesson. Do not grab Jo's bodacious booty and try to explain that it happened because you were making a grab for the glue-sticks, especially if the glue-sticks in question are at eye-level (and Jo's bodacious booty isn't). Most especially, don't do this in front of your wife.

I am sure he'll regain hearing in that ear... someday.

And now, my dear ones, I am going to pour myself into bed. Goodnight!

Friday, August 20, 2010


The Impossible Son is such a little trooper, he really, really is!!

He handled it just fine, the doctor came back much sooner than we expected with photos of pink, healthy tissue inside his tummy. No redness, no ulcers, everything looks good.

*is so relieved*

So, we will go for a follow-up soon, and talk about the results of the biopsies, and most likely some dietary changes.

Just to show you what a dithered state of mind I've been in since we got home, I was making two pitchers of ice tea, and only after I had added the cold water to start stirring did I realize I had put all the teabags in one pitcher!!

It made a most... interesting mix of tea!! I'll probably be teased about this for the rest of my life!! Oh, well, I don't mind, because right now, I'm too happy and relieved to care!!

She'll be knitting for dear life...

I'm sorry I haven't replied to the comments on my last post. I've been too distracted to focus on coherent comments, really. Your support is much appreciated. We'll be leaving in a couple of hours for the Pediatric Center, and I am sure the Impossible Son will breeze right through this.

The Husbandly One has taken today off from work, so we'll both be sitting in the waiting room, pretending to read or watch TV, while I knit like crazy, until it's over.

I'll let y'all know when we get back!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Round and round she goes...

I am trying my hand at knitting on circular needles. It took me three or four tries, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. First, I was doing it backwards (because the illustration in the book I was using for reference was... well... fershmeckled), then it ended up with odd ridges in it. Considering I'm doing stockinette stitch, that should not have happened. So it was rip, rip, rip and start over. Now it's going along nicely, and I'm kind of amazed, to tell you the truth.

It's funny that I find knitting more soothing than crochet. I've often said that crochet is my tranquilizer. Any time that I've felt stressed or nervous, I would crochet to calm down. Now knitting is taking that place. I think it's because I can knit and read at the same time, whereas I can't do that with crochet unless I'm, say, making an afghan where I'm using the same stitch over and over, and even then, I have to look to make sure I'm hooking into the right loop.

Right now, I'm working on a scarf in the Impertinent Daughter's school colors. My friend, the Tall Blonde, has more or less commissioned me (actually, it's more of a dare, but she used the word "commission" so I'll run with that) to make scarves for her daughters, son, and herself, plus my daughter and son, in time for the high school soccer season in November. Don't know if I'll have that many made in time, but I'll give it a good try. Her idea is that the other kids will see those scarves, or their parents will, and they'll want some, too. Then they'll ask her where she got them, and she'll either point at me (if I'm sitting there, which let's face it, I probably will. Miss my daughter's soccer games? Not willingly!) or tell them it was me, and I will find myself with orders to make scarves, which I can hopefully charge them for, and make some extra money on the side.


I love her to pieces, but I don't know if my skills match up to her ambitions, at least not yet! But I will give it a good ol'' college try! When she enthused that I could make them with soccer balls worked into the design on the ends, I said, "Wait, whoa, I'm still working on learning how to do stripes, let's not have me doing designs yet!!"

I'm using the school colors pattern from Charmed Knits, which is going along well. And thank goodness I learned how to pick up dropped stitches with a crochet needle, or I'd be in tears now!!

In other news, the Husbandly One and I are gearing up for school to start next week, and worrying over the Impossible Son. I know I've mentioned his tummy troubles before, his complaints of stomach aches, and constant throat clearing, and all that stuff. We've worried that he has appendicitis, or an ulcer, and he's been to the doctor numerous times about it. He's complained of sore throats a lot, too, with no fever or other symptoms. He coughs and gags a lot, like my dad did all his life, throws up when he gets really upset, and we've been at our wit's end at times, trying to figure it out.

Well, our doctor sent us to a pediatric gastroenterologist back in May, and she put him on Prevacid, which did a huge amount of good for him. That and we kept a "tummy log" which we found very revealing. Sometimes, Mr. Manzie would go through these... non-stop eating binges, especially after dinner, where he would ask for grapes, then for cheese, then for toast, then for frozen peas, etc., etc. And we'd say, "But... you just had dinner!!" And he'd say, "I'm still hungry!!"

I was beginning to think he had a hollow leg or something, because the child does not have an extra ounce of fat on him! He's 4 feet 2 inches tall, and weighs 58 pounds, fer gossakes! But, as we kept the tummy log, and he would complain of his tummy hurting before he started asking for all the food, I finally had a light bulb go off in my head. "Are you asking for this because your tummy hurts?" I asked one night.

"Yes," he said, eyes wide.

"Are you hoping if you put enough food in your tummy, it'll stop hurting?"

"Yes," he said uncomfortably.

"Does it work?" I asked, getting down on my knees so we could see eye to eye. And I waited for the answer as he stared at me sadly.

"No," he finally said. "Not always. Sometimes it does, but... most of the time, no."

That was a huge revelation, and one I passed on to the doctor when we saw her again last week. He spent 6 weeks on the Prevacid, and 6 weeks off, and if we hadn't already known there was a problem before, the 6 weeks off would have confirmed it. Because it was as if those tummy troubles came back with a vengeance. With the added bonus of some of the most atrocious breath ever. *grimaces*

End result? He's going to have an upper endoscopy to take a look at his esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This Friday.

Thanks to everything my dad went through for his cancer, I know what an endoscopy is, and what Mr. Impossible will be going through. However, there is a small, shaking part of me that is curled up in a terrified little ball, because this is my baby. The rational adult knows that this is necessary, because we really need to know what's going on inside his tummy, especially given that he's been having so much trouble for the last three years, and he is the spitting image of his Grand-Daddy.

Just knowing that keeps me from freaking out too much. I listened to my dad do everything my son is doing for years. Coughing and gagging when he was upset. Constantly clearing his throat. Eating the kinds of things that would fill his stomach (and probably make it stop hurting) before he went to bed, like bread and milk. And my dad got esophageal cancer when he was 78.

His mother died of what they thought at the time was "tuberculosis of the throat" at the age of 25, back in 1928, when he was five years old. We're now pretty sure she had the same cancer as my dad.

You bet I want to know what's going on in Mr. Impossible's tummy!!

They'll take biopsies while they're in there, too.

Does it tell you how upset I am that just writing this, I want to faint? Both the kids are sound asleep right now. I want to have my complete freak-out and meltdown over and done with before they wake up. I've put it off for six days now and finally have a moment to myself with no witnesses (except for you guys) to get it over with, so I can be brave, and cheerful, and upbeat for my son for the next five days.

Yay me.

I feel just like I did when the Impertinent Daughter was seven days old, and we were at the doctor's for her first shots. They had taken her from me and laid her on the treatment bed and given her her shots, and she, of course, being an infant, had started screaming. And I remember feeling utterly panic-stricken, wanting to both faint, and snatch her up to run away with her at the same time. The Blonde Sister, who worked for that doctor, stood next to me and patted my arm. She knew what I was going through, and told me the first time was always the hardest.

I feel like that right now. And I am sure that on Friday, I will be sitting in the parents' waiting room at the hospital, knitting for dear life and wanting to both faint, and run in to snatch up my son and run away with him. I think one of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing you have to trust utter strangers to take care of your child in what they reassuringly tell you is safe and controlled, but you know in your heart is utterly and terrifyingly dangerous, but it has to be done anyway. All of this, while you're sitting ten feet away in another room. Knowing that until he's sedated and out of it, that he's scared and wants you there... and you can't be. This is one of the really big, low dips in the rollercoaster of parenthood. I hate it. I just have to keep reminding myself that the rollercoaster will be going back up soon, and truly, that is all that gets me through these moments.

I hate fear. I'll get through it, but oh, man, oh, man, I hate the fear.

He's such a brave little man. In some ways, much braver than his sister. My heart of hearts knows he'll be fine. I just wish I could get the paranoid part of me to believe that, too.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Life with the Impossible Son

So, we're walking out of the San Marcos Library, and the Impossible Son says, "You know what I hate about super models?"

Okay, I thought, That's a bit of a non-sequiter! I'm used to those, though, thanks to the Impertinent One. "No, what do you hate about super-models?" I said, curious.

"They complain too much!" He skipped along next to me and frowned up at me. "Always complaining!"

"Oh," I said, nodding thoughtfully. "Spend a lot of time around super-models, do you?"

He grinned and started running for the van. "None of your beeswax!" he shouted over his shoulder.

"Hey!" I said, catching up. "I'm your mother! I have a right to know if you're hanging out with super models!"

The Husbandly One and the Impertinent Daughter stared at us with puzzled frowns. "What's going on, Mum?" Miss Priss asked.

"Mr. Impossible complained about super models, and I asked if he made a habit of hanging around them without telling us and he told me it's none of my beeswax!" I said indignantly as I got in the car.

"Wow," said the Husbandly One. "That's disrespectful."

"Hey," said the Impossible Son with a casual shrug. "I have a whole secret life none of you know about! That's just the way it is. Deal."

Then later, as we headed for home, the Impossible Son piped up, "Hey, Mom, are you going to bake cookies today?"

"I'll see what I can do," I said with a sigh. "Why?"

"I want to take a few samples so I can go down to my secret lab and do more work on my formula."

"Formula?" said the Husbandly One. "What formula?"

"I'm working on a formula for mind control," said the Impossible Son, leaning back in his seat with his DSLite. "If I get it right and add it to Mom's cookies, it will help her plan for World Domination Through Cookies move forward! I'm like... her assistant. Like... a mad scientist, but... none of you are allowed in my secret lab, so don't ask!"

"Okay," said the Husbandly One dubiously. "Just don't blow anything up. I'm not sure our homeowner's insurance would cover explosions and damage from an underground secret lab."

Yes, the Impossible Son has a rich, imaginative life. I wonder if conversations like this are the reason behind some of the very strange looks we get in public? Heh, heh, heh...