I am somewhat behind on reading blogs, but not - never fear - nearly as far behind as I am on posting. (Actually, you can document that if you do some sleuthing. The internet is like forensic INFINITYEVERYTHINGWONDERFULAMAZINGSCARY.) I like it when things are documented.
I don't have anything to write about. I'm just saying hello.
Some things I would have to write about, if I did have something to write about:
- IRL childless friend #2, who got pregnant 6 months before IRL childless friend #1 brought home her adopted baby, and delivered the baby four months later (got it? I know the math doesn't work, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened. Oh, the baby was late), baptized the baby. (This is not really news.) I didn't go. (Also not news.) Haven't heard from her in two months. (News?) She's the one who has forgotten she needs an awesome vintage stove. Will I ever hear from her again, if I don't contort my schedule and my mind around visiting her and the baby? The baby of whose name I do not approve, I might add. They violated one of the Ten Commandments of Naming Babies (yes, there are, and yes, I have a right to be quite confident about what they are [at least in this country], and no, it doesn't matter that I don't have children. Don't give your kid a stupid name. Not even if you think it's really trendy, or it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling because you are on drugs/hormones/both. Use your BRAIN when choosing a name. Seriously).
- Two weekends ago I went on a whirlwind trip to Michigan, for a funeral. The year after I finished law school, I had a (one-year) job in a city 65 miles away from where my DH was finishing law school. Some friends' grandmother lived in said city, and she was then 85. They said I was welcome to stay with her during the week. Bizarrely, they have always maintained I was doing her a favor. Which is ridiculous. Thus, I met one of the most amazing people I have gotten to know. Since I left Michigan in 2008, I thought I would visit every year. Now I finally have. But I didn't get to see her - alive - because I took so long about it; and because when I heard she had cancer and it was serious, she had only a few weeks, and her family wanted to wait on visitors until she got better. I did get to talk to her before she died. The funeral was amazing. I've been to a few funerals, but never one for a real believer, you know? Someone for whom no eulogist or homilist will even have to fib - neither about the deceased's actions or character, nor about what virtue actually means. Her son-in-law's brother is a deacon, and he gave the homily, and he said, "As you all know, Mary's prayer life has expanded recently." And I thought, "What? She already prayed more than anyone I know who's not a religious. And some of them..." And then I thought, "OH." I think that sums it all up for me.
- This weekend I did another whirlwind trip, somewhat longer. One of my dearest friends from college was ordained in Boston. So I stayed with my (adult) sister in Connecticut. Meanwhile, my half-siblings are also in Connecticut, about an hour away - and I hadn't seen them in, I think, almost two years (!). So adult sister and I hopped in the car, picked up some barbeque stuff, and went to the beach with them. We grilled and splashed around in the water and caught up on their lives. My sister is an amazingly different person at 9. To talk to her, she could pass for 14 or 16. I hope that's not all bad for her - going to mean she takes on too much emotional responsibility in her crazy family. My 6yo brother is not much different. He's belligerent, antisocial, undisciplined, and under-nourished, because he won't eat, because no one will make him eat. He's starting first grade next year, and I really hope that helps.
- I got home from my trip last night. My father had already arrived (he flew), and he's staying us for a week while he does some work in the area. It's the first time he's visited me where I live ever - in the entire time I've had my own place (starting when I was 21). Is that bizarre? I guess it's nice that he waited until I have a guest room for him. And he gets along with my husband. So I hope it will be good.
- Before I left for New England, my husband was traveling for a week. Bailey the Dog and I hung out with a girlfriend who stayed with me for the week, which was awesome. I love welcoming people into my house. And since I was going to be gone until after my father arrived, I did an exhausting amount of project-finishing and cleaning. And yet still not nearly enough...
- The stove continues to best me, but I remain hopeful that I will conquer. I'm going to take apart the pilot lights fully and recalibrate them, per some guy's musings on the internet. I don't have the skills for this, so we'll see. Then I'm going to remove the wiring from the magnetic safety valve and replace it. It's rather decomposed, and a "magnetic safety valve" sounds like something that could prevent gas from flowing to the oven (the major remaining problem), so I figure that's an obvious target. Too bad it's so decomposed I can't figure out what kind of wiring it is. If that doesn't work, I go through the yellow pages to find an appliance repair person. That really won't work, so then, I would just sell it and start over, with a modern one. I am beyond disappointed about this. I really really tried. I can scarcely count the hours I've spent working on this, the research I've done, the scrapes and cuts and bruises and turpentine inhalation. And what gets me is that I know it would have worked, if it had just been working (not well - working at all) when I got it. The seller said it was (or had been), and I believed him. He may or may not have been lying; he was definitely wrong. So if you want to do this, don't let me scare you. Just don't buy one unless it is hooked up before you take it, so you can turn it on and see that it is working. Wait any amount of time for such a stove to become available. Do not gamble if you don't know the status.
- Among the countless things I accomplished was repairing and water-sealing the gorgeous refectory-style dining table that a friend made us as a wedding present. It now lives outside (by the way, she suggested it be used as an outdoor table - I wouldn't have otherwise. And it is perfect for outside and too small for inside). It's working beautifully. Then I went on a mad hunt for a new table. I searched and searched and emailed dozens of sellers and missed a few great opportunities because evil people didn't write back or I was dumb and couldn't make up my mind fast enough. In the end I got a table for $100 that extends to 96". It has a glass top (that fits it at the shorter length only, but that's how it will sit when I don't have a large dinner party), a set of pads (that fit it at full length. Someone tell me, what use are table pads?), leaves (obviously), and came with two chairs, but I didn't bring them home because they didn't fit in my car and I didn't like them. It is an antique, with pretty awesome carving. But it's not crazyfancyornate (yes, I love ornate tables!), because my antique house is rather simple, and I'm trying to complement that. It does have four really huge legs, and I was kind of looking for a pedestal table so I could throw a few more chairs on without the people on the end cracking their knees repeatedly. So this one does have that drawback, if I want to try to seat 12 sometimes. Which I think I will. I will show pictures when I get a chance to strip, sand, stain, and varnish the edges, which are a bit dinged up. Oh, and I also bought four chairs (separate purchase) that coordinate with my existing four chairs. Except that the new ones are not a great color, so I am re-staining them. Never do anything the easy way.
- That means I haven't made any progress on my kitchen. The giant panel of antique cabinets I bought is still sitting in the carriage house. At least I put a five-pound weight on the warped door right away, so for a month it has been un-warping. Does that count as progress? I haven't even cleaned it. After the stove is done...
- I like it that I've been busy and had things to do and made progress on my house. I love having people over to visit and having people in my life whose company I enjoy and whose lives (I hope) I make just a smidge better. In the last year I realize I've been blessed to grow, or maybe just recognize (and sometimes they bloom while you are not looking), close friendships with some really amazing women. They're not married...so the kids thing will be an issue eventually, maybe...but then few if any of the friends I've "lost" that way were really heart-to-heart-having friends before they had kids. So, I suppose I think that with these friends, if there were a real problem, then I could tell them the truth. Like my dear friends from college who have kids. It's harder there, because if you haven't seen someone in a year you don't want to have your first conversation be about why you don't want to see baby pictures. But I think it's better to say it than not to (I just have to remember to act on that conviction!), because otherwise, you've basically acknowledged in your own heart that the friendship is dead. If it were you with the pictures, and you were hurting someone you loved dearly and she didn't trust you enough to say anything, how would you feel? You'd feel like an awful person. And like you'd been shut out of her life. Right.
- Depo is ridiculous. I'm not taking it so I don't menstruate any more (though I keenly feel the irony and injustice of continuing to menstruate - maybe for decades - in my circumstances), but I felt like that was a huge perk. And then when I would have been due for my next cycle, I started bleeding (the doc predicted "spotting" but that is not accurate. Not a full-on cycle, though). And continued to for three and a half weeks. That's not funny, OK? Maybe next month. Which is in, like, twelve minutes. (If you're such a holy roller that you're unacquainted with any bioethics or moral theology regarding this topic but feel licensed to condemn it vehemently anyway, (1) congratulations and (2) I'm taking another dose when three months are up, and probably several more after that. Have a nice day! Buy a Catechism!)
- When I vanish from blogging for a while, I miss people. But lately, when I pop back to check in, I think, "Wait, who am I supposed to be reading?" There are like three girls who don't have children (whom I always read). The remainder provide me a smorgasboard of reading options, discussing solely their children (some of these are still worth reading, but imagine how much MORE worth reading they could be!). Do you know how many women there are writing in this world who have children and write about other things? If I can write about something other than infertility, mothers can write about something other than kids. But they don't...whatever, I just don't have to read. There are also three or four (that number may be too high) women who seem to have kept the same brain and the same good sense and compassion after motherhood as before. Most of these people post about twice a year. I get that you're busy, women who have small children and interests other than children. But you are really failing here in your commitment to keep me entertained. So what I'm saying is - there's not a lot of this world left, is there? We retreated to the blogosphere to find some people who wouldn't censor us because of our offensive infertile thoughts and experiences and emotions. Now we're being driven out by the "God has richly blessed me (and really you're blessed just to know me and my blessings)" crowd who knew 100% better than that ten minutes ago but have tooooootally forgotten. Where to now, ladies? Oh, I forgot. There are like three of you. Odds are it will take weeks for all (any?) of you to read this. Well, if that happens, maybe we should work on finding an inexpensive island somewhere to buy.