Saturday, January 17, 2009


Our neighbors' sixteen-year old daughter was killed in a single-car accident last night. She and Paige grew up together and were still somewhat close. She was killed on a section of road that has been the sight of other fatal accidents, a section of road that scared me so much that when Paige asked last night if she and some friends could drive out of town five miles along that road to another friend's house, I said only if I drove them. When we had nearly arrived at her friend's house and saw flashing lights on the road ahead, I breathed a sigh of relief that we were turning and that all the kids who were planning to meet at that friend's house had already arrived safety. Paige called me shortly after I got home from taking them to ask me to pick them up. She sounded somber, so I was a little concerned, thinking that possibly there was drinking going on, and she was being a good girl and removing herself from the situation (although that seemed highly unlikely considering the parents of the boy whose house they were at.) Anyway, when I arrived, Paige and one of her friends came out to the car, looking so serious, and then Paige told me that they had just found our that her friend Shaye was dead.She was the reason for the flashing lights. She shouldn't have been on that road. Her parents thought she was in town at a friend's house until they got that call...the one that all parents fear.

I have never been so close to the physicality of grief as I've been in the last twenty-four hours. My friends doted on their daughter, centered their world around her and her brother, and now their lives are irrevocably changed. They're devout Christians, so there's some comfort there, but so many of us feel so helpless. How many casseroles can you take someone, after all. Their house has been full of well-wishers all day, all of us knowing that there's really nothing we can do, all of us wishing so badly that there was a rewind button somehow.

I wasn't even sure that I wanted to write about this. It's like I'm asking for sympathy when it's not my loss. Kai didn't cry last night when he heard although he was shaken. This afternoon, when he went to the house, he cried. He told me later that he wasn't crying for Shaye, it was for all of those sad people, that sadness was like a pandemic. That's how I feel.

I'm going to take a little break from blogging this week and try to do what little I can to help comfort my friends...and I'm going to hug my kids a lot.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pesky Pets

I finished my last item for my knitting bakery, a slice of cherry pie.. It still looks a little like a tumor, as Kai observed earlier, but I still like it OK.Russ bought us some real doughnuts yesterday, something we almost never do, so I could use the box to send my nieces their pastries. Of course, I realize that he probably could have just bought the box, but that's beside the point. When we got home from church today, someone else showed her approval of my work. I don't ordinarily offer people food that the cat has reclined on, but in this case, I feel fine with just brushing everything off and closing the box.Kitty loves to take naps on balls of yarn, but doughnuts are expecially comfortable, I guess.One of our other pets was more than a nuisance this week. ..financially.The first expensive thing she did was chew up one of Kai's friend's $120 Oakley sunglasses. His friend had left them in Kai's room, and Gidget found them. We felt like we should pay to replace them, but his mother would only accept half of their value, which I thought was really nice. The other reason Gidget cost us money also seems to have ended up OK. She seemed really sad last Sunday, quietly groaning and moving like she was really uncomfortable. Finally, we got really worried when she started crying out when she jumped down from even a small distance. We hurried to the emergency vet's clinic, which is about a half hour away.When we got there, she jumped out of the car, happy as could be. We weren't sure what to do, so we took her for a little walk, and she continued to act like nothing was wrong. So, we headed back home. By bedtime though, she seemed bad again, so Russ took her to the vet in the morning. The vet said that she had intervertebral disk disease, which Russ said instantly made him get a lump in his throat. He got her a boatload of medication, took blood to analyze, and charged us nearly $300. We were so worried about her and we're still concerned, but ever since then she acted like nothing is wrong. She's back to her normal self. Russ says the vet just looked at her and pretty much said, "Her stomach hurts. She's a beagle. It must be this disease." We're hoping he's wrong. A lot of my friends don't take their dog to him because they don't quite trust him for serious stuff. We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Is It a Bakery Yet?

As usual, it seems like this vacation just zoomed by although this one seemed a little longer than normal because we weren't traveling as we so often do. As I told some of my friends at work today. I don't want to work, but if I have to, I have a pretty nice job. The only bad thing is that my department head is still crazy, which I never anticipated when she got the position last year. She's never shown any interest in curruculum development at all, so I thought for sure that she would have settled down by now with the orders from on high. Department chairs are not administrators at our school, so she has no business dictating curruculum, especially to other veteran teachers. I didn't go into teaching to mindlessly follow someone else, especially someone who thinks that the problem with English classes is that we don't teach like they did in 1975. I love working as a team, but start bossing me around and it torques me off, and then I'm not too fun to be around. This has had nothing to do with knitting other than I'm glad that I have it to help get my mind off of it once I get home. I don't agonize over my students and how they act. It's their "job" to be immature and unmotivated. I accept that it's part of my job to get them to work inspite of themselves, but I hate when other adults make teaching a pain.

I can't remember how long ago it was that I decided I was going to knit my nieces a "bakery." I've been half-heartedly working on it throughout the fall. I think my original plan was to finish it for Christmas. Now I'm not sure that I really know what constitutes a bakery. I've had fun knitting the doughnuts, but they're getting old, and I'm not crazy about the cupcakes that I knit last spring. They seem a little too "mammary." (LOL) I did splurge and buy a really cute tart pattern on ravelry. I also knit a slice of cherry pie, but Kai said it looked like a tumor. I kind of agreed with him, so I frogged it, and I'm trying one more time. I think I'll call it quits once I finish the slice of pie to my satisfaction.

Personal note: Karen, I was so excited to get your comment. I love your mom and thought your dad was such a wonderful person. I'm a little intimidated having you read my blog though because you're an artist, and I'm a...a crafter. I still remember a drawing of a quilt you did for your mom. It seems like it was the friendship pattern, but I didn't know that back then.