Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update: Still alive.

It's been a crappy couple weeks, but not that crappy. Some of you are concerned, so. Here you go. :)

My brother is out of the hospital. He kicked the pneumonia, woke up, and felt as close to fine as it's possible to feel in that situation. He checked himself out after a week in rehab, which is just like him. He was out of the hospital for three weeks before I found out. No one bothered to call me. I went over to the hospital to visit and he wasn't there, so I called his son (his wife never answers the phone), and got the word. Went by his house, and he was cooking breakfast for everyone. Stood around and chatted with me and the Husbeast while he cooked. So I guess he's fine, or close enough.

Then I got to be the one to tell the rest of the family that he was fine because no one had bothered to call them, either. I'm pretty sure my brother's wife lied to my aunt and cousins to get money out of them while my brother was unconscious, and she couldn't bother to call them either.

I'm pretty much at a loss as to where to go with the whole thing, or what to do about it. Or even if anything COULD be done. I think a lot about my mother ranting at the two of them for years, over how they need to do the right thing. I've vowed not to turn into my mother, but... at a loss.

Mom's birthday was yesterday, I'm kinda down over that. And my dad died a year ago in December and I'm trying not to obsess about it.

Which makes for a pretty dismal blog post, so I haven't done any posting. I'm hoping to start the new year off with a new series of posts on knitting, and doing more on colors. For now I'm just laying low and digging in. I'm not horribly depressed or anything, but I'm not tap-dancing, either.

Let's look at the things going right, instead, hmm? Finish out a post this holiday season with a little more style. How about some pictures?

I hand-dyed, hand-spun, and knit a pair of socks. They're merino/silk blend and ungodly bright. Very comfy and warm. Those are garter-stitch toes, from Cat Bordhi. Absolutely brilliant, though not too good for wearing inside shoes.

I've already started on yarn for another pair:

And I finished up the Optim lace-weight. I think I need to do a fiber review of Optim and the company that produces all the hand-spinning Optim I know of, Louet. There's a definite love/hate thing going on.

The big news? We bought furniture! Furniture I don't have to worry about getting from Hawaii to the mainland, or anywhere else for that matter. I wanted a Mission/Arts and Crafts sort of thing, but I know some of it is uncomfortable to sit in. So I went for overstuffed where appropriate:

The couches are not the same color; the larger one is khaki, the smaller is olive. Visual interest. Also, I hate having everything all the same.

I got real book shelves!

They're extremely sturdy and big enough to hold the majority of my non-fiction section. I'm still unpacking books and hauling them upstairs; it's a long process, but I'm enjoying it.

The one end of the room is set up for my fiber-head-ness:

Eventually I want a bench for at the spinning whee and a chair that MATCHES for knitting in. But we'd spent enough on everything else and I intend to get pretty picky over those, so they can wait a bit. Need some lamps that go, too. Again, it can take a while. No rush.

See the table in those last photos? It's an antique that belonged to the husbeast's great-great aunt. I absolutely love it.

It's already stuffed with yarn and knitting gear and wrenches. It's not Mission Style, and I'm totally and completely okay with that. It's so fabulous, matching isn't an issue. It matches ANYTHING.

In the entry we've got a table the husbeast's grandfather made, with a cute little lamp.

I think this table arrangement is BEGGING for a doily. One knit on quadruple zeros and insane-looking.

Sekhmet, that fucker, is crapping little green bits of artificial Christmas tree; I thought I'd spare all of you a photo of THAT.

There, I think that's a much more cheerful end to things. Happy holidays, if I lose my mind and don't post before the 25th.


Walden said...

*hug* . . . sometimes we all just need a hug.

Donna Lee said...

Families are so weird. My mom and I weren't close at the end of her life but I find myself thinking of her quite a bit this year and it makes me blue sometimes. Natural, I suppose.

The furniture looks comfy. And I love the piece from husbeast's great aunt! That is a spectacular accent piece.

Merry Christmas Julie. I hope you and the husbeast and the goober have a wonderful holiday filled with peace and happiness.

Jilly Bean said...

When it comes to furniture, I once read somewhere that the things you really love will always find a way to work with/ integrate into everything else. At the very least, it's what I tell myself whenever I look at my vintage bright orange velvet club chair that I can't bear to part with.

As for everything else... well. I know how heavy-hearted the holidays can make those of us who have lost people, and there's not really any sentiment or words of wisdom that are going to change that. So instead I'll go with the best thing others have told me-- Merry Christmas. Be good to eachother, but especially be good to yourself.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Gorgeous piece from the aunt...and I love the section of the room devoted to your crafting.

Anonymous said...

Thank God you posted... was beginning to think those were some really mean-ass carpet beetles!

As for sis-in-law,etc... well, what goes around, comes around. And your bro can't use a phone either? Well, I'm at a loss too.

And this month is the second anniversary (there should be a better word) of my husband's death, so... yeah. I'm living through it.

Furniture is nice, antique table makes me drool! Gorgeous. Merry Christmas!


Alwen said...

You're aliiiiiive!

Urgh, I should post that on my blog, too.

Roxie said...

Who is that big kid with Goober's hair? Goober is an adorable chubby tot. That's a very savy big-kid in the photo. Where'd she come from?

My whole family are alcoholics. I don't know what your brother's problem is, but I know this: A. If change happens, it will be because things get too painful for him to deny the problem.

b.He realizes that anything would be better than the life he has.

c. He makes changes. They may not be the changes you would wish for. But you see, it's not your life, and you can't do anything about it. Sorry.

Wish I could give you merry, jolly happy advice. Ummm - hug the Goober and enjoy Christmas with her. Hug the husbeast and be grateful that you have him all to yourself and all in one piece.

the furniture is perfect!

Barbara said...

Wow, furniture! It looks comfy and I love the antique sideboard. I think stuff just goes together, so it looks good to me.

We need more Goob pictures so we don't get heart attacks when you show us her so grown up. Too grown up!

Merry Christmas to the whole Samurai family ! I'm off to make your Toffee Shortbread cookies. Hugs all around!

Anonymous said...

Hub and both lost our parents many years ago and there are many very mixed emotions over that around this time of year. "I" am the matriarch of the family, tho I don't play that card too often. Consider yourself one of my adopted kids! And give Curly Top a hug from 'Grandma'

Emily said...

Oh, the furniture from your husbeast's family! Especially that ornate piece. Just lovely & goes with anything.

I'm sorry about your brother. I'm from a family of alcoholics, and the illness seems to have resurfaced in my daughter, who I think is using. She has a child, and that's the hardest part.

You can't do a damned thing except take care of yourself and try to leave the door open for him. If he has kids, be there for them.

Enjoy the Goob & the Husbeast on Xmas! Count your blessings.

Roz said...

Double hugs from here. Lost Dad two months ago. Mom's death 7 years ago is freshest at the holidays. Had my own issues offline, but it's getting better at the end of this year.

You're making a home with the Goob and the hubby -- and it's all good.

Love that cabinet for the spinning!

Merry Christmas.

Galad said...

Glad to hear you are surviving. Sometime years that is just how it is.

Love the furniture which looks comfy for curling up with knitting or a good book.

Here's hoping for good things happening in 2011.

=Tamar said...

Hug the family, enjoy the furniture, it's gorgeous.

Amy Lane said...

(((hug))) I'm glad you're still alive, and, well, I can understand how you could just be shaking your head. But your HOME, your permanent and forever HOME looks awesome, and the Goober looks happy, and Sehkmet... well, yanno. She's a frickin' cat. Merry Christmas, sweetheart!

Louiz said...

Dealing with my own nearest and dearest with stupid "lifestyle choices" here, so you have my sympathy.

The furniture looks good, hope you had a good Christmas.

Linda said...

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season and coming new year.

Anonymous said...

WOW the Goob got big.

Hope you feel better soon. Love the new socks too.


Corlis said...

It's almost a new year.
May your family give you less stress and more comfort in 2011 than they have in all the years past.

Leah said...

Ach! Sorry about the brother - that is a hard row to hoe. People have given good advise, so I won't.

My dad died 2 years ago. We were not close. It was hard dealing with all the ambivalence. It is pretty good this Christmas. I may be out of the doldrums. It helped that I allowed myself to be low and didn't expect happy ho ho from myself while I processed all that. I wore lots of black. I believe it helped.

Love the furniture. REAL bookcase! Love it. The Great-Aunt's sideboard is a jewel, and I love the table in the hall.

Happy New Year.