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RIP Tricia

me
Tricia died yesterday of a sudden heart attack. Technically, she was a friend from my childhood. Emotionally, she was my little sister. She was only in her mid-forties. I am not doing real well today.

I have talked about being part of a big family. There were eight of us kids. I'm oldest. Youngest is Laurie. Laurie was born in 1964. There was a german measles epidemic that year. Laurie is profoundly deaf. This fact changed a lot of things in my family - starting with where we lived.

My father began working as an agronomist for a big company just after Laurie was born. We were living in Panama when she was diagnosed. Without that diagnosis I would have spent my teen years in a series of third world countries while my father worked on soils maps, and we would have had a lot more money. As it was we moved back to the states within a year of her diagnosis and my father never worked in his field again.

Even then, my sister went to boarding school from the time she was five. She did come home every weekend, but she has a group of classmates that she not only went to school with from five until she was seventeen, but she also lived with. They are like siblings.

My mother was a musician. After she discovered Laurie was deaf she couldn't bear music for at least a decade. She went back to school and trained as a teacher of the deaf and ended up teaching at Clarke and eventually having most of Laurie's dorm group as students. By the end of October of any year, the students in Mom's class started calling her Mom by accident. They never stopped.

I didn't get to know all those kids well, but some of them ended up family. I did my college degree in psych and child development at UMass and took some classes with the teacher training group at Clarke. I did some intern stuff in Clarke classrooms. I even ended up helping to teach a class on family issues. I almost ended up going in that direction professionally. Almost.

Patricia Burns was in my sister's class. They were best friends. That meant that roughly half her weekends she spent mostly with Tricia's family, and the other half Tricia spent mostly with us. Tricia was functionally my little sister.

Tricia is the second person in that group to die this month. Dawn died a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know Dawn as well as Tricia. I didn't think of Dawn as a sibling. But I knew her and she was too young and she has four little kids. Dawn's death hurt. Tricia's death is devastating.

I'm waiting on funeral information.

False accusation

me
My daughter came and told me one of the kittens was making off with a ball of yarn and she stopped him. There were stern words uttered on the need to put the yarn in some sort of cat-proof container.

The yarn is on a side table downstairs in the living room. I'm working on a multi-color sweater. There are five colors, one of which is attached to the sweater at any given time. He attempted to take the one attached to the sweater and was only succeeding in unrolling the ball. My daughter interpreted this as playing with the yarn.

A couple of hours later he appeared at my feet in the family room upstairs and dropped a different one of the balls of yarn from that project at my feet. It was still neatly rolled into a ball.

Can't read the kitten's mind, but it does not look like either playing with the yarn or making off with it. I've a cross-stitch project and a half-finished sock upstairs. Perhaps he thinks I've been neglecting the sweater.

Sep. 6th, 2010

me
I agree completely that he is indeed adorable. He's doing well. He's a premie (4 weeks early) but big enough that he's mostly acting like a regular newborn. The only issue is he has trouble maintaining body temperature when he isn't in someone's arms. He's nursing like a champ, if on a shorter cycle than my daughter would like.

She informed me (and facebook) yesterday that a baby who has been laid down to sleep with milk drooling out the corner of his mouth should not be insisting five minutes later that he is starving.

I'm linking to a couple of other videos because big sister should get her share of the admiration and to show what sort of cute overload we have going on here. Sophie, btw, is twenty-six months old.

www.youtube.com/watch

www.youtube.com/watch

the grandkids

me
So the grandchild count hit three today. This one is a boy.

Jonathan Matthew was born at two thirty this afternoon. He weighs 7 pounds 4 ounces and is 22 1/2 inches long. Mother and baby are doing well and his big sister has been in to approve. Sophie is pleased with him, but is enjoying being doted upon by the other grandparents. I will see him in the morning.

Aug. 1st, 2010

me
I am not lacking in kitty love. Larry is a shoulder cat at heart. He really believes that his place in the world ought of right to be on my shoulder, or possibly my chest, at all times. Smudge prefers being curled up on the arm of my chair and my leg, so as to be able to do the full body squirm that is his expression of affection. Buttercream prefers the frontal approach. He comes directly into my lap and pushes whatever I'm doing aside so that I may pet the cat. Jasper is of the bounce on and off the lap persuasion.

I not infrequently being occupied by more than one cat at a time.

Molly is not a lap cat. Molly does not do anything that involves limiting her freedom. She won't be picked up. She will allow herself to be petted, but only if you do not try to put a hand on each side of her at the same time. She's an independent sort.

Molly just came and lay on the couch next to me and laid her head against my leg. She stayed for a good fifteen minutes, completely relaxed.

I feel deeply honored.

unstable as hell

me
I went off the anti-depressant. I did not do this in a staged, doctor supervised manner. I simply ran out at a time when I was constantly on the road and decided I was fine and didn't bother.

I saw my doctor last week and told her I was doing fine without it. I was deep in denial. I am anything but fine. Last night I finally faced up to the number of critical things not getting done, the messed up sleep, the lack of energy, the desire to stare blindly at mindless tv, and the constantly being on the edge of tears. This morning I called my doctor and confessed to being deeply depressed again. She called in the prescription.

I will be more or less sane again in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we are having the interrment ceremony for my husband at Arlington National on Teusday. I am trying to sort out a huge house. I am getting estimates on expensive repairs and talking to Real Estate people. Life is crazy and so am I.

If I say something that is awful, it's not about you and I will regret it once my mind comes back.

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