thekyttn: (wistful)

Oh what a weekend.

Actually, on a very personal level, this was one of the best conventions
I've been to in the past 7 years, and the best OVFF I've ever been to.

My darling daughter was able to come with us this year, and that made a
huge difference. Her husband added a great deal of stress to the early
part of the convention, but that eventually settled, and once Faeryn was
enjoying the convention, it made it much better for me as well. I adore my
girl and miss her so very much! It was a delight to have several days of
time with her, including real time for just-us to talk, rather than the
snatched 10 minutes we get here and there at home. 1000 blessings on Sue
Jeffers, who did her usual magic, and when Faeryn was feeling a little low,
turned things around, and it was a bright-eyed smiling girl who came back
to me. (Yes, I know, Faeryn is a young woman, not a girl, but she's MY
little girl, and always will be. Besides, if I have to admit that she's
all grown up, I have to admit I'm getting old!).

I'm horrible at writing con reports, so I'm just going to put in a few

Thursday night/Friday morning we got to the Motel 6 that was just around
the corner from the con hotel about 2am. It turned out to be very nice for
the price! Clean and reasonably well appointed, complete with fridge and
microwave and little sitting area in each room. I will definitely remember
this for the future! It made it very easy for me to sit down and do
Payroll in the morning while Peter and Faeryn went to get breakfast, and
brought me back tea, oatmeal and BACON! Then off to the Doubletree around

Things were a little delayed getting started at the convention. The
previous group moved more slowly than was optimal, but that left a large
number of filkers gathered in the lobby waiting for rooms, making it easy
to start gathering hugs.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was fun. Lots of people dressed up in pretty
things or funny things, and lots of talking and laughing. I wore my
favorite sari, which made a favorable impression, Peter looked quite dapper
in his outfit, and Faeryn was, as always, lovely (not that I am biased).

The rest of the con is kind of a blur as to when things happened, so things
may be out of order.

I got lots of cuddles with Aiden, Cat Greenberg's darling son. I even got
a little snuggle in with 3 month old Sam Ehrlich. I bought books for gifts
from Larry Smith, who we were all very glad to see. I replaced my
Wilderwood CD, having worn out my original. Actually, I think this is the
second time I have had to replace it.

My biggest pleasure of the weekend, though I fell apart completely
afterward, was listening to Faeryn sing in the Shallow End circle. The
Powdermilk Biscuit gathering for shy singers and the Shallow End filk
circle were both wonderful. Mark Bernstein, who I am usually a little
uncomfortable around, was very welcoming and encouraging. Seeing how many
other people are as nervous as I am about singing helped a little. Hearing
from Faeryn why she is uncomfortable singing in circle but not performing
in front of the entire school helped as well. I ended up sitting next to
Cat Faber at the circle. Cat is one of the people I've been very shy of
and have admired greatly from afar. I actually managed to speak to her a
couple of times. She seemed to be having a good weekend as well. At one
point I was able to sit on the sidelines as Cat, Peter Alway, and Mary
Crowell were having an instrumental only session, along with a gentleman
whose name I never got, who was playing bass. It was beyond lovely to
listen and gave me a slightly better understanding of some of the
information given in the music theory instruction gathering I had gone to

There were lots of good conversations at various points... talks with Cat
Greenberg, not nearly enough time with Sue Jeffers, a talk in the hall with
Andrew Ross (another person who I've been terrified of in the past), a talk
with Terry (one of Merav's husbands, whose last name I can never remember)
about yarn and spinning, who was in the most expansive mood I've ever seen
him in. I got a nice long comfortable conversation with Teresa Gunderson. I got to spend a little time with Elliot,  another person I don't see enough of antmore.  There was good conversation and hugs with Beth DreamingWolf (used to be RunnerWolf),
though not nearly enough. There were hugs from lots of people who I
include in the "my OVFF is not quite complete without them" - Dave
Weingart, Peter Alway, France, Larissa and Rob, Steven Joel, Merav, Batya, Persis, Heather Munn, Judith and Dave Hayman, Tom and Sue Jeffers, the far-too busy but always delightful Erica, Roberta Slocumb, Harold Stein, and a number of others that my tired brain can't name at the moment.

I spent a great deal of Saturday trying not to fall apart. I missed Greg
terribly, even more than usual, as I always do at conventions. Hearing
Faeryn sing on Saturday was more than I could handle. Greg was so very
pleased when she originally started enjoying cons and got almost as much
pride and pleasure as I did when she sang. After I went to the room and
dissolved for a bit, I felt better and was able to enjoy most of the rest
of the convention without tears.

Oh! I also gave lots and lots of frilly scarves away! I'd promised some to
a couple of people and others were interested as well, so I gave away all
that I had completed. Three of them are going to Israel :) The gorgeous
and talented Judi Miller was willing to take one for herself and one for
her daughter. A number of other people ended up enjoying them as well. If
I have any more of the yarn at home, I will probably finish making it all
into scarves and put them out for small donations to Interfilk.

I keep remembering things I should have added/included! Dinner with Eric Coleman and his gorgeous wife, Liz, as well as Dave W., Ben Newman, and Beth, followed by a stop for ice cream. A hug and reassuring kiss on the head from someone I think of as very much a part of the reason Greg was able to bring me so completely into the filk community, even though I'm not a performer of any kind.

My first OVFF was overwhelming, and I told Greg I never wanted to go back.
He enjoyed it so very much, and I tried to send him to others without me,
but he wouldn't go. Now, OVFF has become one of the cons I plan for and
look forward to and one of my biggest sources of comfort. Even though I
come out of weekends like this especially missing his love, his generosity
of spirit, his thoughtfulness (there were a few instances this weekend of
thoughtlessness that bothered me greatly), I end up feeling comforted and
loved. And I'm slowly finding my own space in the community and no longer
feel like I'm there only as Greg's wife. I'm already looking forward to
FKO and maybe even seeing a few people at Philcon in November


Aug. 10th, 2013 08:51 pm
rotten, miserable day. At least I don't have to work tomorrow. Or rather, at least I am not at the bookstore or the city tomorrow. I'll be doing plenty of work at home. But I do get to see Collin.



Changes in my personal life that scare and excite me


relearning trust after only trusting myself for a long time, and not always even that


my father's poor health and what his death is going to mean


my grandsons and their futures, especially Caeden. 


Originally posted by [ profile] kitanzi at Sandy Relief Efforts
Originally posted by [ profile] browngirl at Sandy Relief Efforts
Originally posted by [ profile] _samalander at Sandy Relief Efforts
(Reformatted from a post made 3/17/11)

I am donating blood Monday. Did you know the Red Cross estimates that only 5% of eligible donors give blood? They have their flaws as an organization (the no sodomy rule is a killer) but blood saves lives, and it's easy to give and you get a cookie when you're done.
In the USA, a man who has had sexual contact with a man since 1977 (the cut off date when we invented homosexuality, I think?) cannot donate blood, platelets, or plasma. ONLY the American Red Cross takes the step that bars women who have had sexual contact with a man who did that, and only if it was in the last 12 months. If you are a woman in that category, you can use the AABB database to find a non-ARC affiliated center to donate.

I know some of you are like me and don't have a ton of scratch to spare to help with the recovery from Sandy, so here are some links:
-Find a blood donation site (via AABB - includes Red Cross centers) here.
-Find a Red Cross donation center here.
-Find an American Blood Center here.
-Know a lot of people with red, blood-pumping hearts? Talk to your job, your church, your social club or whatever about hosting a blood drive. Give blood, get cookies.
(Of course, not everyone CAN give blood - you might not be old enough or weigh enough or just be petrified of needles. That's okay. There are other ways to help!)

Want to give money?
-FEMA has a list of organizations by state that are taking both time and money from volunteers.
-20x200 is selling print of the "blue marble" that shows sandy here. All profits go to the Red Cross.
-Don't like the Red Cross? Donate to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City here, the Salvation Army here (please mind that SA is a religious institution and you may or may not agree with their positions on homosexuality or trans* rights) or Global Giving here, which is also providing relief for the Haiti and the Caribbean.
-Kroger is putting coin donation boxes at its registers in some stores.
-iTunes and ebay are accepting donations.
-Check with your bank/job before you donate, some are matching donations as well. I'm trying to find a list of those. The Red Cross also has a searchable database of places that will match donations.

Want to help Haiti or Cuba?
-The Huffington Post has some links for getting food to Cuba.
-The International Rescue Committee is active in Haiti, and have a list of ways to help.
-International Medical Corps , Direct Relief, and Operation USA are working abroad, but I don't know these groups, so I neither support nor denounce them. See more in this vein at the Huffington Post.

How should you give?
-Be wary of the text-to-donate plans; many phone companies don't make the donation until AFTER you pay the bill it appears on - 90 days is a long time to wait.
-Remember to do research on charities before you donate. The ones I've heard are best are the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and The Search Dog Foundation. - Your mileage may vary.
-The FBI has suggestions to not be scammed here.
-If you, like me, prefer fluffy puppies to most people, you can also give to WorldVets, which is the Red Cross for animals.

I know no one likes to hear it, but in these cases, money is the most helpful thing.
-I remember hearing about people who flew to Haiti or Japan to help, and had no transportation, didn't speak the language, and had no useful skills. Don't go to a disaster zone unless you are with an aid organization.
-Things like blankets and canned goods might make you feel good to donate, but think of the cost it takes for you to buy it and people to transport it. Aid groups can get these things for cheaper than you, and they can get them closer to the disaster zone, so it costs less to get there. Also, they know what's appropriate and what's needed.

-If you're in NY and have lost income, you can apply for compensation here.
-NJ residents can look here.
-If you're in NY and have HIV/AIDS or are on methodone, here are some resources.

Please boost the signal! I'm leaving this unlocked so more people know about these things - or
Question for filk friends:  I have a large amount of Canadian coin, at least $50, probably significantly more once I gather it from all over the house.  I'd love to use this to benefit Interfilk, and I'm wondering how is the best way to make that happen.  Would a Canadian at OVFF be willing to take possession of it and make it useful at FKO perhaps?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Faeryn is married, and very happy about it.

The service was lovely, the bride beautiful in a gown she made herself, and the groom seemed happy.

My head hurts too much to put many details into words right now, and I suspect I'll not get around to doing a proper report.

One of her friends was very very kind to me as I cried my way through the ceremony. Talk of forever is so hard to hear. I wanted to scream out that forever just doesn't happen, but I didn't.

Only had to disappear from the reception once, when a song was too hard to listen to,

His mother is not very nice. Met her for the first time today, and I hope it's the last for a while.

His father IS nice, and stayed to help with clean-up, as did my parents (thank goodness!).

I have no pictures because my camera malfunctioned. Hopefully her father will share though.

Steve was kind, and when asked "Who gives this bride", actually gestured to me and said "Her mother and I".

After everyone was gone, I took the last pink heart mylar balloon and wrote a note on it, walked out onto the pier, and sent it up, watching until I couldn't see it any more. This greatly confused one of the children fishing off the other end of the pier.

I have a really wicked headache - probably from lack of proper food and from all the crying I've done. Going to try and remedy at least part of that now.
I want 24 hours of peace. I want my grandson and his mother to go visit her mother. I want my son to spend the day with his grandparents, neither drinking nor using drugs. I want to come home after work to a quiet house, with no arguing, no crying, and enjoy sometime with my cats. I want my daughter's fiance to treat her like the jewel she is, and to not drink for the entire weekend. While I'm wishing for miracles, I want a headache free day and a day without tears.

I also want a hug.
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Drug addiction. it ruins so many lives and causes so many problems for so many people.
Life continues to be more interesting than I want, and consistently painful. I really don't like who I am these days, especially as I see some thing that needs to be done in the near future, that I desperately don't want to do or feel able to do, but feel like I must. The kicker is, that I can't even vent about it without feeling worse - too many of my friends would be able to do it and wouldn't understand my fear. As it is, a number of the things which are overwhelming me just now get a reaction from friends/family of (essentially) "It's not that big a deal, get over it).

With Greg, this might be possible. Scary still, but possible. Now, I guess things are still possible, but so overwhelming I get physically ill. I really don't know how to keep this up anymore. Daily my will to be here fades more and more. I didn't think I could want to be with Greg any more than I did before, but it's worse now than ever.

As usual, no choices. Or rather, it feels like there are no choices.


Mar. 6th, 2011 10:23 pm
thekyttn: (Caeden)
Many of you know that my son's girlfriend was expecting a baby, and some know about my concerns about paternity. Kathy gave birth on Saturday (had an emergency c-section actually; both she and baby are fine), and we're all accepting that Caeden is Garrett's son. Ok, I still have my doubts, but since Garrett is accepting the baby as his, unless they choose to do DNA testing and get a different answer, Caeden is my grandson. Good thing too, because that little boy has me entirely wrapped around his fingers already. I know life just got a great deal more complicated, but I suspect he's going to make it worth it.

Tonight I printed out wallet-size copies of some of the pictures I've taken of Caeden with my digital phone. I put out a set for Scott and Carol and Faeryn, and am giving a batch to Garrett and Kathy to give away as they choose. I also put aside a set for myself and for Greg. It was a full 10 minutes after I'd cut the pictures before I realized what I'd done.

This little boy and the pleasure he gives me is so very bittersweet. When things went downhill in the delivery room on Saturday morning, and they rushed Kathy away for an emergency C-section, I immediately spoke to Greg and begged him to be with Caeden and Kathy and to do what he could to look out for our little boy. That evening when I finally got to hold Caeden (his name is going to be Caeden Garrett Corbin on the birth certificate), I told him a lot about his Opa Greg (I'm going to be Oma) who will be watching over him. I intend for him to grow up seeing pictures of Greg and knowing who he is.

It's been a long weekend, and I'm desperate for some downtime and sleep. Not sure when that will happen. Tomorrow I'm not going to see Caeden as they are going home from the hospital, and by the time I get done with work then therapy, it will be almost 8pm and I figure they will need the peace and quiet. Garrett gently suggested to me today that perhaps I wouldn't mind not coming by at lunch as they will have just gotten home and will be exhausted. It's going to be hard not to go by every day, though I know I can't do that.

Anyway, I have a beautiful grandson who I am going to have to work hard to keep from spoiling, and who is already showing signs of stubborness and temper. I expect I'm going to be getting some revenge on Garrett very early for some of the gray hairs he's given me!

Thank you

Feb. 11th, 2011 09:40 pm
Thank you to everyone who responded to my post(s) about the townhouse, here, on facebook, and via email. It does help not only to have people who are listening and who understand and who don't think I'm being ridiculous for finding this a difficult change, but also to be reminded that I'm really not as alone as I convince myself I am.

*HUGS* to all of you, and I'm sorry I haven't responded to each individual post and *hugs*. I've run out of spoons and am going to curl up with a cat until I find some more.


Feb. 10th, 2011 09:47 pm
For much of the afternoon and evening, I've been thinking of what I might post here. Now that I'm finally at a computer, I find my self too drained and my head hurting too much to write even half of it.

The townhouse has been on the market for almost a year. It is hard for me to remember that this is not the house that my beloved and I lived in, but a similar structure standing on the same slab. Even the tree that stood outside our bedroom has been removed.

Today I received and signed a contract for the townhouse. I desperately need to sell it, both because I can't afford to continue paying the mortgage and because it is time to let go. I still can't go into the neighborhood without approaching panic and/or feeling distinctly unwell. I think I've been by the house a total of 5 times since it was rebuilt, and only one of them willingly, when I thought I might somehow feel closer to Greg there (I didn't).

So the contract has been signed for an offer less than I hoped for, but more than I was afraid I'd have to accept. Which would be ok, because after all, it takes time to process things, and by the time closing rolls around I'll be used to the idea, right? Umm, no. They want to close next Thursday. One week from today. All that has to be done first is a home inspection and for the buyer to review the bylaws for the Home Owners Association. The HOA may be what does me in, but I hope not.

So a week from today, I may no longer own the home that Greg and I lived in from the time we were married until the day of his death. Just writing that makes me start shaking again.

It isn't our home. Hasn't been for over 3 years now. I don't know why it is so very hard to let go, when I KNOW it isn't our home and I KNOW I can't afford to keep it, and I KNOW I only hurt when I go there, and there is no good reason for me to fall apart over the sale.

Somehow it sort of feels like I'm giving up on him by letting go of the house, which is stupid, of course, because holding on the house isn't going to magically bring him back. If it would, I'd beg, borrow and steal to make it so.

A week from now, one more burden will be lifted from my shoulders. I wish it felt like as much of a good thing as I know it is.


Jan. 14th, 2011 04:57 pm
I finally went out to the mailbox today after having skipped it yesterday and possibly the day before. I've been feeling lousy, and just not wanted to deal. I was delighted to find a package from artbeco's Etsy shop (if you haven't checked it out, you should). I expected two copies of the wonderful thought-provoking photo she'd kindly allowed me to special request. Not only were those included, but a couple of gifts that overwhelmed me - two of my other favorite images (Go look at her stuff, I dare you to be able to find just one favorite!) Now, instead of doing the tidying I should still be working on, I'm going to sit back and enjoy my pictures, and decide where they are all hanging. I have to choose which one goes in the public space for everyone to see, and which goes in my bedroom for me to be able to see when I'm alone at night and feeling unloved (will be harder to allow that feeling to take over with the evidence to the contrary staring back at me).

Beckett, I can't thank you enough.

I hope someday I eventually get to hug you in person; you can't know how much your kindness and generousity changed my day.
Waking from bad dreams, I still reach for the warmth of his hand, listen for the reassuring sound of his breathing. It is amazing how very loud silence can be.
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.
Is getting sick and tired of being an adult. Both my children are in not so good spots right now - my son is involved with a girl who is simply not good for him, and who is causing a great deal of family stress. My daughter is in a LD relationship which is stressful in itself, and she's unhappy for a number of reasons. My BP is being difficult to control, my headaches are out of control, and I don't have the energy/motivation/strength to take care of things at home like I should, and really don't have anyone I can ask for help (no one locally). My daughter is about the only person I feel comfortable with seeing the place as it is and whom I would not mind having help.

I hope I can manage to do OVFF next weekend. I need the adult company.
Faeryn is coming for a WEEK in June! Ok, granted, I have to work the whole week, and she's going to be spending time with friends, her grandparents, her brother, and her Dad, but I'll get some time with her, which will be good.

Also have someone very interested in renting the apartment for June. He just wants the one month, which means I'd get a bit of income, then would have the place available in time to be able to maybe coax family or friends to come visit from PA or Boston.
*sigh* I can't wait until June and the chance to spend some time with my daughter. And I did get to see her in February at least. Her poor Dad is suffering from even greater withdrawal! I'm beginning to be afraid he's going to come to the con, just to get to see her, which would be incredibly stressful for me. Besides, I want time with her that I don't have to share. Yep, selfishness shining through again.

*sigh* a few more weeks. If I can survive the next 3 weeks, I'll make it.
So very frustrated and feeling helpless to make the lives of my children easier. Also very disappointed in some people I expected to act like decent human beings, and who are letting me down in a major way.

*deep breath*

My wish for today is that these people end up reaping what they sow.



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