It is kind of nice listening to my children and Lee playing video games in Faeryn's apartment. Kind of hard too - I want to join them, but it's her space, and I've made it clear that I don't go down there uninvited. I try very hard to give her the respect and distance I would give any other paying customer. Makes it much lonelier, though.
The userpic is a rose that used to grow in the garden of the townhouse.

Cons are such a mixed blessing.

Yesterday I made it to Boston with minimal trouble. A little black ice on my driveway, and I got lost finding my way to the Daily Parking at IAD. Still made it to the gate 2 hours early. Decided at the last minute to take advantage of pre-boarding because I can't lift my left arm above my head, and am SO grateful that I did. Will do the same on the way back. It is worth the nasty looks from people who think I shouldn't be doing so because I don't look sick.

Faeryn caught up with me at the airport and escorted me to the home where she is living/working. We had time to catch up a bit, though I was pretty foggy from the journey and wasn't as communicative as would have been nice. F. provided me with a bag of thoughtful valentine goodies. Got to meet the family and get lots of baby cuddle-time. Little H. is adorable, and I enjoyed getting to chat with his parents too (I know they won't mind too much that my attention was focused mostly on him). I did have to reassure them that I had no desire to kidnap Baby even though I was dearly enjoying cuddling him - I want no more teens!

Eventually F's new local boyfriend, Jimmy, showed up and went with us to the con.

We explored the dealers room a bit and met a few people before registering for the con, and eventually Mary Anne found and kidnapped me for dinner, which was the highlight of my evening. I caught up with F. and J. in time to get in trouble for saying too much and to say goodnight to them before they went elsewhere for a bit. Early to bed for me, though not early to sleep. I woke in time to watch part of the sunrise from my room, then came down to the lobby to find internet access since I couldn't get connected there. Now I am trying to figure out what I want to do next.

Cons are a very mixed blessing. I love seeing people and collecting hugs, and I feel guilty that I don't reach out to any of these people in between cons. Most of them don't know or understand that by the time I can force myself to make that phone call to reach out, I am pretty much at the end of my rope and hanging on for dear life. I love the feeling of being cared for and somehow connected again. I feel closer to Greg. And I miss him more than ever. I see people we know, and turn to point them out to him. I saw Louis McMaster Bujold yesterday and wished desperately that he was there to meet her. I'm still considering getting her to autograph one of her books for him, silly as it sounds. I've greeted a few people who only know me as Greg's wife (which is perfectly fine with me). How many times did I go to cons with him, and just lean against him as I listened to him talk to people whose names I couldn't quite remember? I'm already overwhelmed and ready to go home, and there are still so many people I want to see and hug. I'm at the point this morning, though, where I'm already breaking into tears for no real reason.

I think it is time for water and Ibuprofen and to either wander the galleria a bit or go back up to my room and cool down a bit (the public areas of the hotel are grossly overheated - I'm sweating in a light-weight t-shirt!

Will try to keep up with LJ and FB, but with the limited connectivity available, I may miss something, so please drop me a note here if there is something you'd like me to know about or comment on.
It has been a long but not awful day, I guess.

46 years ago today, my husband Greg, the love of my life and my best friend, was born. I miss him horribly.

I did my falling apart early when I woke up at 4am after only a couple of hours of sleep, then cried myself back to sleep and into a nasty headache. I managed to get my act together, though, and be mostly upbeat when Faeryn left for the morning. Carol called and talked to me a bit, then Kathy came around 11:30 to hang out for a bit. My mother dropped her off with some very welcome chocolate cake and spicy peanuts. Dr. W, my therapist, called to check on me and see how I was surviving the day. Faeryn came home after her morning of babysitting and her boyfriend, Lee, came over for an hour as well. I got to talk to Kathy about Greg, reliving our first in person meeting and our first kiss. We looked at some stuff online, and I made appointments for an electrician to come give me estimates on some things I need done in the next few months. Kathy and I played some of the best Rummy I've played in years. At 6, Garrett came to get Kathy and by 7pm I was on my own again.

The house is quiet now and I am settled down for the evening with the cats. Snugs is passed out beside me, and Emo is gazing out the window, hoping his Faeryn will come home. Bed for me, soon, I think.

I wish I could sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time and that I'd stop waking up looking for him.

Emo has decided to come and curl up on me for a while and wants me to stop typing and put away the netbook.

Goodnight all.
My father dearly loves deviled eggs, but given his health issues, really should not have them. Faeryn is searching for a tasty yolk-free recipe that she can make for him. I think other fillings for the cooked egg-whites would work as well, but of course everything I think of, like chicken/tuna/crab salad would take real mayo to taste good (at least, I haven't found a diet Mayo that I like particularly for chicken or tuna salad) and all the recipes I can find call for using the egg yolks. Any suggestions? Has anyone tried a yolk-free "deviled egg" recipe that they can recommend?
I was going to post a lot about the weekend, but have all of a sudden hit that wall of fatigue what has me reeling, so I'll make it brief. Tomorrow I need to respond to emails, but no energy for that tonight.

Carol's visit was wonderful, of course, and I'm grateful to Scott and Matthew for sparing her to us. The only thing that would have made the visit nicer (other than the obvious) is if Scott and Matthew could have come as well. Maybe we can make that happen some time this summer.

Dinner with the Carol and my kids on Saturday was lovely, and today Theresa took me out to Panera for sandwiches and conversation, which was also lots of fun. We spent an hour or so discussing the fun of having almost-grown-up kids.

In spite of having a lovely lazy weekend, I did get a decent amount done - earrings made for Tim's girlfriend for prom (must get more chain to finish the necklace), one pair of earrings for Carol, desk moved into the spare room (F's old room) and the chest from the spare room into the living room, curtains put up over the new window in the living room (ok Garrett put up the curtains, I put up the swag, Carol helped choose what was going up). All in all a successful weekend, but now I'm going to bed because I can't sit up any longer.

Good night!
I'm in bed at last, very grateful to be prone and mostly in the dark. In the room next door is one of my favorite people, who made the evening extremely enjoyable. Carol is so incredibly comforting to be around. She gives sympathy while actively discouraging self-pity and is understanding enough that I can talk to her about just about anything. I talked to her honestly about my reactions to my pelvic ultrasound, and she understood and didn't condemn me, even though she didn't agree with me. I feel better having talked to her. As always, being around Carol or any of that family, I feel comfortable and part of the family and like I belong. I can't thank Greg enough for leaving me a really wonderful family that is willing to keep me even without him.

Tomorrow we'll go to a couple of yard sales, dinner with the kids in the evening and maybe to Rivals to hear Faeryn sing karaoke. I don't have to work until Monday, so I can enjoy the weekend and the company. It is going to be a very pleasant weekend!

I hope everyone at FKO is having a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to con reports and pictures.

Now Snugs and I are going to sleep.
I did recieve something wonderful in the mail yesterday - which might have been partially responsible for my teeny burst of energy. There was a thank-you turtle card made by my favorite niece, which is now on the refrigerator door.

Yay for kid-art!
It has been a long day. I didn't end up driving home as planned because Charlottesville had a great deal of ice and it was decided that it was unsafe for me to try to drive home. I think it was a good decision as my head was bad and it took two doses of heavy pain killer to get it under control. I spent a great deal of the morning stressing over the decision while Carol reassured me. The rest of the day was spent watching TV, making some jewelry, resting and chatting. Now I'm tired, everyone has gone to bed (after I kept them up later than usual), and I'm trying to get my brain to stop stressing enough to sleep.

It has been a good trip, and yesterday wasn't quite as bad as I was afraid it would be in some ways, more difficult in others. Garrett called and talked to me for a while which was wonderful. Carol and I talked a bit, and she's been very kind and listened to stories of Greg here and there. It is nice being here, though I'm also ready for home and my kitties. It is good being with family. I didn't actually see Mom McM; she's coping in her own ways. I've relaxed a lot and been very lazy and generally been quite spoiled. It will be hard going home to an empty house and loneliness again, but I can call when I want to and visit again in a couple of months or so.

Today I'm too tired to cry much. I'll sleep soon, hopefully, and leave in the morning after rush hour. Weather in C'ville should be better by the time I get home. It may not be great here, but on this end I'll be leaving feeling relatively fresh, and it should be better around the time when I start to fade, hopefully.

A year has gone by, a whole year since the best part of my life ended. A year ago I lost hope when I lost Greg. I'm very grateful for all the love and support that we've gotten over the past year that has helped me keep going, helped me keep my promises to Greg, helped me do what is right. Many thanks to all of you.

Home again

Jan. 3rd, 2009 08:50 pm
Home again after a very pleasant couple of days with our family in PA. I only got to see Mom McM for a short while, but it was good to see her.

Faeryn and I had a really great time playing Apples to Apples last night, staying up far too late, but having a wonderful time with lots of laughter (I laughed so hard that I thought I was going to have to have a breathing treatment!). Our nephews have grown into incredible young men, and T has a lovely girlfriend who was with us much of the evening and who is really charming.

The driving part of the trip was very long, but definitely worth it. I got to talk to family about some issues bothering me, didn't upset people too much when I got a bit teary over some music and a movie (we watched Across the Universe), we got help with computers, Scott dipped a couple of my chainmail tools in protective coating for me, everyone enjoyed their Christmas presents. I came home with a deliciously soft robe, a really great cart for my beading supplies, and a hardback copy of the FarAway Tree stories by Enid Blyton (yay!!!) among other things. I missed my kitties, but got some snuggle time with the latest foster, Cupcake, and the other dogs.

Now I'm home, the rental car has been returned, Faeryn has gone out with friends for the night after giving me a nice hug, and the kitties and I are snuggled onto the bed. Emo says I must stop typing now and start petting him, so I will go do so (Snugs is asleep on my feet). It is good to be home with my furry children and my pictures of Greg, though I am really glad we went.
I've finished my necklace & earring set for my mother-in-law, and the more I look at it, the more I am convinced she will hate it. The colors would look fabulous on her (I'll have to get a picture to post), but it doesn't seem like her style at all - too chunky (it is chain maille). I've got to work today, and the majority of my beading supplies are in my car, at the shop. I've got 6 days to come up with and complete something different, including this evening after work.

I think I am in trouble.
Spent the evening watching TV, working on a couple of small gifts, and doing a few small chores around the house. Both cats are unhappy, either because I've not gone to bed yet, or because Faeryn isn't home. I can't really tell which.

There was the possibility of working an hour or two at the bookstore this evening, but T was willing to take the shift, and I decided I needed the time to do things here at home. And, in reality, I couldn't take pretending to be positive one more minute.

I thought about calling people tonight. I knew my timing sucked though. One friend is already depressed and didn't need my tears on top of her own problems. Another would have needed to get off the phone quickly to deal with family stuff, and I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't unreasonably resent a perfectly reasonable interruption. I'm not good at calling or reaching out. I tried calling a local friend and ended up being her support and talking her through worries about her new job. I didn't want to my brother-in-law and family because they are in a reasonable place right now, and while I know they'd be glad to be there for me, I would have felt the need to try and hide just how badly I'm hurting (yes, Scott, I know that is foolish). I even throught about calling my mother-in-law, but really how can I talk to her about my pain when she has had even more losses? I didn't call any of the many other people who have offered to have me do so, partly because I was afraid they'd be to busy and partly because I really dislike making phone calls.

I have to find a counselor near by. I can't risk calling any of the local hot-lines to talk because I'm afraid I'd get popped into an inpatient situation which would risk my jobs. Each day it gets harder to get out of bed and pull on the persona that I have to wear through the day.

Bedtime. The cats are ready, and I'm cold inside and out.

Pleased.

Dec. 7th, 2008 04:52 pm
I just spent most of the last 45 minutes on the phone with one of my nephews, hearing about his trip to visit potential colleges. I can't begin to describe how good the call felt and how much I enjoyed it. It was absolutely positively the high point of my week. He's bright and loquacious and a pleasure to listen to. And I couldn't help but think all through the conversation just how much Greg would have enjoyed it, and how very proud he would be of M, and how proud I am of him.

Now to finish out my afternoon/evening in a much better frame of mind than I was an hour ago.
Oh how I have to laugh at myself. I almost burst into tears when Steve Mac played Queen of Argyle. I remember hearing that for the first time at my first GaFilk with Greg. I remember being fretful that weekend, because we'd been dating for so long, but I wasn't sure that Greg wanted it to last or go further. I was so very unsure of my place in his life, especially after meeting so many of his very talented and intelligent friends, who seemed so much "better" than me. I was head over heels in love with Greg, but hadn't yet realized he felt the same way about me. My love was always so very cautious and careful. I remember him singing along with Steve Mac, and commenting on Mike Whitaker joining in and how wonderful it all sounded, and wondering if I'd be with him the next time he went to a filk, and feeling so totally out of my element.

I think that was actually the GaFilk before we got engaged, which we announced at FKO the same year. Steve Mac and Terence took great pleasure in playing one song after another to put me to the blush that weekend.

Before I left tonight, Tom Jeffers asked if there was any song I wanted him and Dave to play. I started to request Highway Man, which I love, then decided on Dixie Chicken. It was hard not asking for 45 Years, which Greg and I asked for every time we saw Dave. Dixie Chicken was wonderful and fun, of course. I think that was the highlight of my weekend. I sat with Dave and Tom on one side, and Steve Mac on the other, so I could watch the guitar work of both and hear three of my favorite voices.

I got to chat with several people, got hugs from people I remember being terrified of years ago. I got a kiss on the cheek from someone who once I'd have been speechless around. I find it amazing how many walls I've let drop since I lost Greg, how many people who scared me have reached out to me, and I now feel grateful for and rely on for love and support. It is an amazing family that he brought to me, in so many ways, not only his blood family but this wonderful found family that I feel more comfortable turning to than my own parents.

I'm tired, but not sure I can sleep. I'm going to lie down, though, and I've got 3 alarms set to make sure I get up in time to get to the airport. Next post (hopefully) should be from Virginia.

There is a fellow named Jeff that I've seen several times this weekend. Each time I've seen him, my heart has stopped a second. Today he was wearing a shirt very much like one of Greg's. He's a little shorter than Greg, and slightly stockier, but he has a similar hair pattern and the same coloring, and glasses. I never spoke to him. When I went into a filk circle to say goodnight to people, the back of his head was so familiar, I almost hugged him from behind automatically because I was listening to the music and not thinking.
Cheating again...

Since I promised an explanation about what happened with Garrett yesterday, but I'm too tired to think straight, I'm just pasting an excerpt from an email I sent to family about it:


Last night, after I finally got home and was getting ready for bed, around 10, Garrett called.  Long story made short is, Kathy's cousin Tyler stole her wallet (with house key) out of her van when they were giving him a ride to a friend's house.  When called on it, he denied the charge, though he was the only person in the van and it was there when he got in, and not when they got home.  I encouraged (insisted) that they call the police.  Faeryn came home as I was heading to Garrett's, and we went together to first get a new doorknob/lock for the door, then on to Garrett's.  Faeryn went with Kathy to the police station (and waited for what seemed like forever) to report the theft.  Garrett and I replaced the doorknob, then talked to Tyler off and on on the phone, trying to convince him to return the wallet before the police got involved.  (Tyler is about 15, by the way).  Garrett was livid and ready to go beat the tar out of Tyler, especially after Tyler started cursing at me on the phone.  I managed to convince Tyler that calling back anymore would be a bad idea (it seemed to work, he stopped calling).  Faeryn knew the police officer that took Kathy's statement, which helped a great deal.  Then they came back to the house, and Faeryn and I went home, wrote quick emails and went to bed.  Tyler called this morning, having "found the wallet in the driveway" where he was dropped off.  Kathy has gone to his house to go pick it up, Garrett wisely stayed at home, knowing he couldn't trust himself to keep his temper.  Unfortunately for Tyler, things have already gone too far, and in spite of his returning the wallet there will be an intake hearing and charges will be pressed, though Kathy can opt to ask for leniency should she choose to do so (she isn't leaning that way right now). 

goodnight all.  I'm collapsing now
This day was not what I expected. Worse in many ways, better in some. I'll have to do more details later.

Thank you to everyone who sent good thoughts and love and support, and who tried to check in with me.

It has been an insane day. I'm grateful to be back at the Glitter House (just got home from dealing with a bit of a crisis at Garrett's (no one is hurt)) and in bed.

Now to sleep if Snuggles will stop chewing my hair.
Greg's brother Scott is doing a charity walk tomorrow. I know that Greg will be with him as he goes. Below is the information, taken from Scott's journal. Scott has offered a button to anyone who makes a $5.00 donation or more. For anyone who makes a $25 donation (greedy, aren't I?) I'll send a beaded bookmark.

Here's Scott's entry:
Charity walk and wisdom teeth
Tomorrow I'll be walking for charity; the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I can't believe it's tomorrow... I signed up for it months ago, and kept meaning to post information about it... but never did. So, now it's tomorrow and I've done a lousy job of drumming up contributions. I've arranged to go early and help set up, so at least I won't be a total waste of time.

If you would consider making a donation, please visit http://www.active.com/donate/ltnPhilad/2438_mcscotty

Oh, and say a quick prayer for my youngest's quick recovery; he's having all four wisdom teeth taken out today. Mine were no problem, but Carol had a bear of a time with hers, so we're not sure what to expect for him.

UPDATE with an incentive: If you make a donation of $5 or more to LLS through my page referenced above, I will make you a custom 2.25" round button or magnet (your choice). Just contact me and we can work out what you want on it; I'll make it and get it to you.


Go Scott!

Torn

Jul. 30th, 2008 09:36 pm
My father's sister, Lila, and her husband, Alistair, are going to be in Charlottesville to visit for a couple of days. I haven't seen them in at least 15 years.

My parents want me to come to their house for dinner with my children and Lila and Alistair. I can't. I simply can't go there. Greg once promised me I'd never have to go there without him, that I'd never have to deal with that without him. Just the idea of going without Greg hurts beyond explanation. Faeryn understand this and tried to explain to my parents. My father told her that the presence of my aunt and uncle should be enough of a distraction. Faeryn offered to help arrange something for a late dessert at our house, but they are unwilling to come.

My choices are to not see the Aunt and uncle that I haven't seen in 15 years (and since they live in Australia, it may be the only chance I get), or to go to my parents house, which I don't think I can cope with. It sounds so stupid when I write it out, and there really should only be one choice - to see the family, but I don't want to go there without my husband. I don't want to walk through those doors without him. I don't know how to deal with being there without him to lean on.

I don't know what I'm going to do.

Edit: The issue is very much going to that property, more than seeing my parents. Not that I'm often too particularly happy to see them, but I can cope with that elsewhere. They live less than 5 miles away from me, and quite honestly, their refusal to come here in this situation makes me even less willing to be around them. My children will be going to my parents' house for dinner, and Faeryn will express, again, my desire to see my aunt and uncle and ask them to come over to the house. That is pretty much the best that can be done. I was awake far too much last night trying to convince myself I needed to go over, and cried myself into a headache so bad I have no business going to work (which I will be doing, because it is my second day on the job, I'm in the middle of dealing with Payroll, and unless I'm dead or contagious, my work-ethic says I have to try to do my job).
It has been a very long week, made a lot more bearable by a visit from C, my sister-in-law. She was bringing her younger son to MD and decided of would be useful to come further south and take care of me a bit. C is one of very few people I am always glad to have over, who I am completely comfortable with and who I don't feel the need to put on a show for.

Hmmm, head is worse than I thought (bending to put books away caused major dizziness and spike in pain), so this will be shorter than planned.

Carol helped me do the one thing I've been dreading most- going back to the townhouse. It was hard, but not as hard as if I had gone alone and not quite as hard as I expected. I got slightly distracted by the differences in the house. The kitchen had particular problems as the upper cabinets were so high that I could barely reach the door handles. C has the gumption to tell the contractor to fix the issue, which I was not able to do. I am a little unhappy with a number of things but cannot say much as I opted to not deal with the house as much as possible.

We also pulled together paperwork for the mortgage company and attorney and got some thank you notes written, which was incredibly hard. Re-reading the cards and being unable to escape the reason for the cards and gifts was very hard and I finally fell apart a little.

Earlier in the week I did interview for the FT position at the City, and thursday I did get the job. Will have to post later about the job; my brain wants to stop now.

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