tephra: Close up of doll hands holding knitting in working position. (knitting)
The craft output of the last year has not been up to the usual level due to life events. I know I mentioned my mother's valve replacement surgery that was scheduled for last summer and ended up being last fall. What I didn't mention is the reason for the delay; my Dad died. I spent late summer and fall with Mom and my brother and didn't get home until early November, which is also why you didn't see any hints of NaNoWriMo last year. I wanted to do NaNo but there was just nothing for me to work with, not even enough to really get a character or setting started, and absolutely no energy to write with, especially not with nearly a third of the month passed already. It hurt a bit to skip a year but not as much as trying and failing would have.

Anyway, I did actually get some crafty things done in the second half of last year. Many photos behind the cut. )
tephra: (kitty squid)
So I can now read LJ/JF/IJ/GF and my email without fear of spoilers. Yay!

Between my mother's doctor appointments, and my father's doctor appointments, yesterday and today were the only days I really had time to do anything with Mom. And even then she had appointments both days.

The Jeep needs some work so I'll be going with her for her 7:15am appointment for her MRI (WTF, who makes appointments at that hour?) and dropping my Jeep off on the way so the shocks can be replaced. Once again there have been unforeseen bills to keep me from getting the AC recharged so I'm sweating out the weeks here quite literally. Realistically I only really need AC for the few weeks I'm here but man, when the Jeep has been sitting in a parking lot for a few hours on a bright sunny day in the mid-80s I really want the AC fixed. *dies*

For those wondering when I'm heading home... well I expect I'll be here for another week. We'll see if Mom is up for the things we didn't get to do on her normal days off... schedule permitting. Once I know one way on the other on those I'll have a better idea of when I'll be heading back.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
After all that hassle with the passport I didn't even get asked for an ID to get into Canada. I did to get back into the US though. I managed to hit both borders at times where I only had to wait for two or three cars ahead of me, talk about a nice change of pace.

Instead of the traditional thunderstorm around Albany this year I was treated to FOG, off and on pea soup fog from Albany all the way to my folks' place. :P

The internet here didn't need fixing for a change, but damn I have a lot of software to update....

[Yes, I did get my passport. It arrived while I was at Anthrocon. That would be... eight? maybe seven, weeks after I applied and paid the extra for expedited service (two to four weeks). I'll be writing a letter to try to get that fee back since I paid for a service I didn't receive. Somehow I doubt anything will come of it, the government wiggles out of things that a business would be held to, but it can't hurt to try and I could really use that cash back.]
tephra: (stunned)
For the few people that might be wondering where I have run off to that I haven't spoken to about it: I'm at my parents' place.

The heat is killing me. The dumping of everyone's problems on me because I'm "the smart one" and a fresh ear is driving me to want to kill. The assorted medical issues and chauffeuring I'm doing is less than pleasant.

In the week I have been here I have:
  • installed a (snail)mailbox

  • straightened out a screw up with the ISP

  • made the recovery disks for my brother's PC

  • ripped Norton off it and put AVG on it (and boy, downloading that and the assorted Windows security patches that piled up over the last year over dial-up was just so much fun)

  • had my Jeep inspected

  • taken over cooking and shopping responsibilities

  • ended up tending the arthritic, senile, and incontinent labrador

  • become the cats' new slave

  • been asked for legal advise (WTF? I'm a geologist and computer geek, not a lawyer)

  • been asked for political advise (kill 'em all)

  • served as the auxiliary memory device for the household (because no one can remember anything apparently, nor write it down)
Is it any wonder that I don't look forward to coming here?

And today there was an abortive attempt to guilt trip me over the fact that I live 1000 miles away.

I imagine I will be here at least another week, probably two, since Mom's surgery is Monday and she's taking 4 days off work (which with her schedule gives her two weeks off).

Good grief

Nov. 18th, 2005 12:48 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I just called my folks with the intention of talking to Mom about what to get Dad for Christmas (he's incredibly hard to buy for) and ended up getting a family update from Dad instead.

My brother is now in U-Mass Medical Center (where Dad was when we thought he was a goner) because his back never got any better than how it was when I left. I don't know how long he's been there, or what his diagnosis is, but I'll find out when Mom gets home and calls me back.

Mom wasn't home because she was at Leominster Hospital getting an MRI on her back. I have no idea what the story is there.

Dad, the guy that everyone thought would be six feet under by now, is the one feeding the two geriatric ponies. These ponies probably should have died of old age a decade ago but seem to be caught in the weird Vortex of Cranky Old Critters that is apparently centered on my childhood home.

Dad didn't mention the dog so I assume he's still alive as well. Another Old Critter, but less cranky than the others.

On the upside, my cousin, who lost his license because of an accident when he was 16, got his license back. It just took 14 years. He never should have lost it but the cop had it out for him and his lawyer should be disbarred for incompetence. Yes, a child died. But I really think the father should have had some of the blame, putting his kid in the bed of the pickup with an oak wine cask (the big ones that they age wine in) and not securing either the boy or the cask. The boy was crushed by the cask when the pickup (which was speeding) rolled.

Yes, I'm still pissed about the ass reaming my cousin got over that accident.

And apparently the weather back there is cold and very, very wet. Though with Dad 70 is cold so take that portion with a block of salt. It's 60 on the porch with the kitchen door open (I fear their heating bill) so it can't been less than 50 I'd think.

It's 22 here and snowing lightly.

Home again

Aug. 31st, 2005 11:45 am
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Actually I got in around 2am Tuesday morning, I just didn't get around to posting here yesterday.

Dad bounced back and was actually doing very well before I even got there. No one told me this so I was rather stressed for the drive thinking I might not get there in time. I suppose I should be grateful that someone actually called me when he first went to the hospital since there have been numerous incidents where I found out about a hospitalization well after he was discharged. Still, a call saying he wasn't on the threshold of death's door any longer would have been nice.

While dad's medical situation turned out to be a relative non-issue (we've had several he-might-not-survive moments over the last decade) it was fortunate I was there to help my brother with his medical situation. Unfortunately this has alerted the family to how handy it is to have another person with a license, and no pesky job, around the house. Right before I left dad made an ominous comment about needing someone around the house because of the visiting nurses not living up to his standards and how mom might have to quit her job so I might have to come back soon so she can keep working....

Good gods, NO! My brother was trying my patience but having both him an dad home and laid up was pushing me close to homicidal, add in how mom reacts to them and I'm quite certain I would have snapped in some way. Homicide, suicide, hell at times genocide started to sound good. There's a reason I live 1000 miles away.

And now for some entertaining content, something the fans of good writing will appreciate (and have probably seen). Linked to the original page (where it is large enough to read).

tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Well scrap the plan to return home tomorrow, move on to the plan to return Monday.

Dad is supposed to come home tomorrow. Unfortunately this is a work day for mom, more unfortunately my brother threw his back out, may have a kidney stone, and somehow bashed his knee last night.

Yeah. The house is probably cursed.

So this means I would be the logical choice to go to Worcester and retrieve him. There's just one problem with that... Cut for bloody details, literally. Men likely to squick. )

So mom's going to call into work and get dad herself. I'm getting the silent treatment, with a healthy dose of (perceived) guilt trip. Like I planned this or something. With my already poor emotional state (even without the considerations behind the cut) I'm feeling like a waste of skin, or at least a total failure as a person.

Dammit, I WANT TO GO HOME!
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
I just got a call from my brother. Dad's in the hospital again, with a serious infection in his foot. They're scheduling him for surgery (amputation) but they're not optimistic.

I'm getting things in order here, paying bills, doing laundry, packing. From the sounds I had better pack the black suit. Dad's a tough old Yankee but he is 77 years old and his diabetes has never been well controlled. They're worried about his lungs and kidneys holding up. He's apparently getting transfusions though I don't really understand why (because my brother wasn't holding it together too well while he was trying to get the information to me).

So basically I'm saying I might be offline again with little or no notice for some uncertain amount of time.
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Friday, the 19th, was my 30th birthday. Dad had surgery that morning and my mother and brother stayed with him afterward until nearly the end of visitors' hours. Not the best birthday on record. The receptionist at work, one of my students, and a total stranger that wandered by and heard them wished me well, as did mom, my brother, and one of his ex-girlfriends.

You know, I've pretty much given up on the birthday thing. My 16th birthday was completely forgotten, and several since then have been barely acknowledged, and I'm tired of reminding people that I've managed to stick around for another year. I guess I feel that if I'm important to someone they'll make the effort to remind themselves of it.

Ugh

Mar. 16th, 2004 09:33 pm
tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)

My father, age 76, slipped and fell in the snow today... onto concrete.

I found him on the step of the porch trying to drag himself into the house. I managed to drag him onto the porch, which is enclosed and therefore at least a bit warmer than outside, and out of the rather impressive snow storm that we've been having here since about 2pm. For all my strength it was difficult to move him. Who'd have thought that a scrawny old yankee would be that solid?

I ended up paging my brother (Highway Superintendent, therefore out sanding/plowing at the time) for help since dad refused my suggestion of dialing 911. Stubborn, stubborn man. Bill (my brother, not that other one up in Michigan doing all that writing) and I managed to get him into the house. We had to first get him more or less on his feet (possible broken leg so not that much on his feet), I held him up while Bill snagged a chair from the kitchen and got it behind him. This is when I found out just how solid Dad really is, I swear he must have stone hidden in there somewhere. We got him down into the chair and then we carried the chair (and Dad) into the house. He still refused to have himself checked out, and with the storm and other ambulance calls there was no point of calling for one that would just be refused.

Mom's home tomorrow so maybe she can make him see differently, if not her then the doctor he has an appointment with should be able to out stubborn him.

I, on the other hand, have my usual 50 mile commute, possibly in still falling snow. That's assuming I can walk tomorrow. I'm not a weight lifter anymore and my back, thighs, and triceps are killing me.

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tephra: A furry liger-ish dragon portrait in profile (Default)
Tephra

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