corrvin: a Courier daisy wheel text "definitely my type" (my type)
(Earlier this week, my partner Raven's dad passed away.)

Me: I'm going to the store, do you need anything?

Raven: I need... some sour cream. (very serious look) My dad passed away... and... I think... he would have wanted me to have it.

Me: How long are you going to ask for things that way?

Raven: About six months?

Me: Sounds fair.
corrvin: MSPaint drawing of my house (house)
Father out law passed today just before noon, peacefully. His son was there, and his sister (and brother-in-law) and daughter arrived just after.

I don't know what goes on in the last hours of someone's life-- I believe there is something that we do, some internal processing, some spiritual work maybe, that makes us ready for the end. Whether or not we're aware of who's with us at the end, surely they are aware of us, and it may be that something that the dying do is helpful to the rest of us as we go on.

I don't know, and hope not to find out for a few years yet.

Wuh oh.

Jul. 16th, 2013 05:20 am
corrvin: kitten climbing a fishbowl with goldfish with the word 'piranhacizer' (piranhacizer)
(This entry has been Piranhacized.)

New employees having trouble identifying the parts of the piranha. I would settle for "the bitey end" and "the non-bitey end" at this point.

Three days off later this week cannot come soon enough. I already jam-packed them with plans as follows:

Wednesday: ME DAY. Sleep, play around online a bit.
Thursday: THIS HOUSE, A PIT. Clean like my parents' opinion depends on it. (So, likely to be be 20 minute bursts with loud music and tons of dry-erase-board lists.)
Friday: Birthday celebrating for the youngest two-legged member of the household. Food, cake, possibly even presents. Movie! Shopping! Fun!
Friday night: Collapse in exhaustion and sleep up until work Saturday night.
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Ex-husband joined Facebook (which he said he'd NEVER do).

Just friended him this morning. Planning on going to his wedding in September. It's a costume/wear-your-garb wedding, so any suggestions are welcome1. (He and his spice are active in the SCA.)

ETA: It's going to be partly/mostly outdoors, in early September in Oklahoma. Weather could range from 70-ish to nearly 100 (and that's in cheap American degrees). I overheat massively and sunburn pretty well. The wedding may have a "pirate" theme. I am not terribly interested in terribly cleavage-exposing costumes for the obvious reasons (I don't want to flash the goods to everyone AND I don't want to sunburn the upper slopes).



1You may assume that I like him and his intended and am not trying to be catty2 or steal the show.

2A dear friend of mine went to an in-law's wedding. She reported to me that they decided to marry on Halloween.

"Oh, was it a costume wedding?" I inquired.

"Yes," she said. "Everyone was in costume. The bride wore white."
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A facetious "about me" sheet typed by my uncle and reproduced here verbatim.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The below was typed on an actual typewriter, with one typographical error (the F in "FAVORITES" was struck as an R, then overstruck several times with an F) and a couple of misspellings that are left in.

The date of this piece is unknown, but I'm assuming sometime in the late 80's?

While the space at the above right, above the words "this picture" is blank, there is no sign that anything was ever attached there.

cut for length and PG adult references )
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I'm back from the hospital. Dad didn't have the procedure they were hoping to do; he'll be seeing a surgeon for an alternate method sometime in the future. For now, all is well and he's going home this afternoon.
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I may be randomly out of touch for a few days.

I'm still working my regular shift (or at least the plans so far are for this). However, tomorrow morning my dad is having heart surgery.

My mom will be staying at our place, most likely, Monday night. Or maybe she'll stay in the hospital with him (they have comfy places to sleep in the patient rooms).

Not much else to report, I guess. It's cold here (60 outside) and other than a brief trip this morning (delivering my spare mattress/box springs plus sheets to a co-worker) I've slept all day, and am planning on catching another two hours' nap before work. Walking is out of the question, it's cold and my knee hurts.

If I had more time and energy, a couple of my friends have some issues that I'd like to help them worry about. Sadly, I don't.
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So, yeah, family stuff, of the good variety.

Have I mentioned my cousin? I have only one cousin, and she is of the girl variety of cousin. She is sweet and quiet and kind to everyone.

My cousin is 6'2" and has long blonde hair. I would describe her as a "thin hourglass" shape. She's been offered modeling contracts. Objectively, she's quite pretty; subjectively, a number of people think she's really beautiful.

I, of course, am 6' tall, would charitably call myself "chunky" (I've graduated from "fat" downward to "chunky" I think) and the closest I've ever got to modeling was building very small replicas of things. I have skin problems and at various points I've had teeth problems as well (which are now fixed). I wouldn't really call myself pretty by any means, though I can look professional and act attractive. I do have long brown hair which is a little wavy toward the ends, and I think it looks awesome even with the sprinkled gray hairs.

My cousin is finishing up a professional degree which will allow her to work in a very well-paid field. I have a bachelor's and work at a job that requires a high school diploma, and while I make enough to pay the bills, she'll make more than me in her first year out of school.

I have a very nice boyfriend who is a stay at home dad and a kickass homemaker. We're not married and likely never will be. She has a boyfriend who is an ambitious student working on a professional career of his own. His parents are also fairly well-off.

Which leads to this: His parents flew the six of them (his parents, her parents, my cousin, her boyfriend) to Hawaii for a week. So, on her birthday, she was standing on the beach, in Hawaii, while her boyfriend presented her with a tremendously nice diamond and begged her to marry him.

She took a picture of the ring on her iPhone and immediately posted it to Facebook with the news. Did I mention that I have a cell phone and all you can do on it is make phone calls?

So, I allowed myself 5 minutes of the following:

99%: SQUEE! How awesome for her!
1%: I hope she gets bitten by sand fleas, develops hives, and itches all night.

But after that 5 minute bout of liver-devouring jealousy, I got over it, by remembering that when I got married at the age of 20, all my grandparents were there. They got to know my husband, and gave us advice, and passed along things to us with instructions and hints and ideas. And they got to know me as an adult, and a lot of who I am was shaped by my grandparents and their love for me. My last grandfather passed away last month, so I had 15 years as an adult with grandparents.

My cousin, on the other hand, is 22 and out of grandparents. They’ll never meet her guy or watch her get married, or give her a million little pieces of advice. And he could be the most awesome guy in the whole world (and I really do hope he is!) but she’s still missed out on some things I’ve had, just like I’m missing out on some things she’s had.

And it all comes out in the end, you know? Some people are rich in things, and some are rich in love, and some are rich in both, but everybody’s missing a little something, no matter how perfect it looks from the outside.
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Yesterday I came down in the morning to my folks' house and spent the day hanging out with my dad. Some things I learned:

My grandparents apparently road-tripped to New Mexico to get married, possibly because there was no waiting period there, and had a double wedding with my grandfather's sister and her husband. The only remaining person who can tell us about this is my great-aunt, who had better spill the beans Friday.

My dad and I discussed moving the photos from the 40+ photo albums to archival albums and labeling them.

Dad: Of course every time you think about it, you think it's too late. But I still remember who some of those people are.
Me: And what you have to remember is that even the recent stuff... uh, 1990 was two decades ago!
Dad: Yeah. I know.
Me: It just hit me.

My dad and I went to visit a friend of the family Rubye Gail, who is 95 and "ready for a new address," and she was pleasantly annoyed at my grandfather for cutting in line ahead of her when he was 10 years younger. (Not really but kind of humorously so.) She told us stories about how when she was little, they turned off the electricity to the town at 11pm and didn't turn it back on until 6am.

And then she told me an interesting story about a friend she had growing up, and how her grandfather had told her friend and Rubye Gail how he had come to America when he was a child, from Russia. And 90% of me was listening to the story because it was really neat and the other 10% was going:
2010 - 95 = Rubye Gail was born in 1915.
1915 - 50 (the guesstimated age of her friend's grandfather) = born in 1865
1865 + 15 years old at the time of the story= 1880.
I am listening to a SECONDHAND story from the century before last.
TIME TRAVEL WHOA.


More later, I'm sure. I gotta catch up on some more sleep.
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My only remaining grandparent (or, as he frequently put it, my YOUNGEST grandfather) Popa Ted passed away today.

It was very sudden, and unexpected (at least by all of us who remain) and swift; he was found at the kitchen table of his little home, which my parents had built next door to theirs after my grandmother passed a few years ago.

A little about my grandfather's interesting and remarkable life )

My grandfather attended my baptism last year, and at dinner afterwards told us all the story of when he was baptized at Fittstown in the river. He helped inspect my house and plan some of the repairs and upgrades.

My grandfather was terrified of the idea of having to stay in the hospital, so while I am sad that he's gone, I know that he would have certainly chosen to pass away at home rather than in the company of strangers.
corrvin: text "more than one doesn't always mean one more" (poly)
One of my earliest memories:

It is the summer when I am 3 years old. My parents still live on 18th Street, and we're still attending church with my mother's parents. (My father's parents were never strong churchgoers.)

It is Mother's Day Sunday, and Granny and I have gone out to the back yard, to cut roses for the centerpieces of our corsages. Granny cuts two red roses and one white one.

I ask why, and she explains to me that I get a red rose, because my mother is living. My mother gets a red rose, because her mother-- that is Granny-- is living. And Granny gets a white rose, because her mother is in Heaven.

I figure out that someday, far far in the future, Granny too will be in Heaven, and it will be my mother with the white rose. I decide that this will be a long time from now.




I sent my Granny a dozen red roses for her birthday, two months ago.

I'm glad I didn't wait for Mother's Day.
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
I'm in a group about simplifying one's life and that includes getting rid of unneeded possessions. One thread, though, really annoyed me, as it was about people who had just-grown children and were asking the children to get ALL their possessions out of the parents' houses.

Here is my response to the whole thread:

I love my parents very much, and even though I’m an adult, I still learn a lot from them. I watched them move my widower grandfather into a little house next to theirs that they built so that they could care for him. They made room in that little house for his things that he wanted to keep, and room in their big house to store some more, and helped him decide what not to keep (and sold it or disposed of it for him). They never told him that they couldn’t keep his stuff or that he had to pay to store it somewhere.

I really don’t mean to be argumentative, and I’m sure that circumstances are different for everyone, and I know that a widower grandfather isn’t the same as an employed young adult who may be married or about to be. In my opinion, though, there might be circumstances when the thing to do that is loving and respectful to your child (and their feelings about their possessions) is to offer to keep a few of their most treasured things for a few years, especially if your house is bigger and safer than where they are living.

And think about it, if you teach your kids that they are allowed to “set the value” on their own things and ask for your help, then in 30-40 years when (if) they are moving you into assisted living or into somewhere close by them, they may volunteer to keep some of your stuff at their house and help rotate it through your smaller living space, instead of telling you that it’s “not their job” to hold onto your possessions for you :)
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I'm thankful to be alive and able to enjoy life.

I'm thankful for my job, and for my co-workers who keep me from having to work all the time.

I'm thankful for my home, and my possessions, thankful most especially for those things I desperately wanted that we found a way to get. (Thank you Johnny B. for my wonderful MacBook Pro! And thank you Raven for building me a PC out of spare parts and cat hair.)

I'm thankful for my family, both my [livejournal.com profile] st0rmraven and [livejournal.com profile] ravenlet, and those who don't live with me; the family I was lucky to be born into and the family I was lucky to find and love.

I'm thankful for my friends, near and far; every time we meet is a blessing, and the intervals between.

I'm thankful for Geeg and Chisa, who have been with me since before I was married, and Engineer Cat who is most instructive.

I'm thankful for this holiday. I'm thankful for comfort and warm food and the blessings of being together with one another, and (this may seem strange to you Northerners but bear with me here) I'm thankful for the coming winter*, for the rest and repair and settling of cold weather. I'm thankful that after Thanksgiving comes Christmas, and this year I'm ready to celebrate again!

I'm thankful for joy, and thankful that it doesn't rest in any one person-- it's a constant creation suffusing the world, if only we can open ourselves to it.

And now, it's time for me to go start laundry and herbed bread, and go have lunch today with my great-aunt and family, none of whom I've seen since I was married many years ago.



*"Winter" in this area is the secular name for "the weeks of sweatshirt weather between Christmas and the Super Bowl."
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Well, while I was down at my folks' I took pictures of their super awesome kitchen.

Tell you about it? Okay! )
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Doing a crossword and finding a tricky clue, and the split-second desire to call my grandmother for help.

Realizing that I can't.

Thinking about it, realizing the answer-- and realizing that I've heard it in her voice in my head.

I guess we never do truly lose those we love.
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Apparently a few of my uncle's friends wrote to him when his father passed away in June. I found my uncle's reply to them, and thought it was worth sharing. Here it is, below the cut.

on the occurrence of my father's death )
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
Cut for those who are tired of the reminiscing. )
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
My dad just called to let me know that my uncle John was found passed away in his apartment today.

He was only 53 years old.

He married once, for a few years, when I was very little, and divorced; he had no children. He had a master's in mathematics from OU and was a serious Sooners fan. He loved practical jokes and would spend weeks setting them up.

My grandmother hasn't been told yet that her only son is gone. She just lost her husband this summer and now this.

Oh Lord, please give my grandmother strength to bear losing her son, and my mother strength to bear losing her brother (and patience to deal with my grandmother). Be with all of us in this time of our sorrow.

"The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalm 90:10)

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Corrvin

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