Sunday, September 17, 2006

Visiting Hours Are Open!

After six months as a storage closet, our guest bedroom is now a comfortable haven for weary travelers. At last!

I've been putting that project off for months, because I was a little overwhelmed with the floor-to-ceiling boxes we had stacked in that room. Where would they go? I bought curtains and rods and paint months ago. so everything was set. Except me.

Saturday morning, I played computer games until I was bored in an effort to put off the inevitable. Finally, I relented and asked Len to help me move the boxes into the living room. Emptying the room turned out to be pretty quick and painless. Then, I realized I had no roller -- so, without benefit of a shower and in my painting clothes I trucked off to Home Depot with a list of needs. I even had them cut 1x8 boards to lay under the box spring in the guest bed. That bed is an old iron jobby that is slightly wider than today's mattress sets. Without any support, the box was beginning to sag.

When I finally arrived home and got started, it was nearly 2 p.m. I really, really didn't want to paint. I started with that iron bed and spray painted it in the back yard with a flat black paint, covering the white with gold trim from previous decor. It looks really cool. I let it dry while I painted that darned room.

It had been so long, I'd forgotten what color paint I'd bought, so by process of elimination, I figured out which can hadn't yet been opened and used that paint. It's an old-fashioned green, like old Jadite glass. After painting, I ripped up the carpet and took it outside, where Len will deal with it while I'm traveling this week. The floor is pretty disappointing, just like the floor in our bedroom. A previous resident of this house glued carpet straight onto the hardwoods in those two rooms. Maybe we'll get the floors taken care of during Len's Christmas vacation.

I brought in the new bed and found the boxes of bedding and installed the new curtain rods and curtains. and viola! we have accommodations! Just in time, too. Suzy and Clark are coming next weekend to ride 6-gap with Len. Whew!

The best news is that I eliminated 4 of the biggest boxes with the bedding. Len just has to figure out a place for his hundreds of record albums and bike parts and everything will have a place!

Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., I'll for NYC for two days. Hopefully I'll come home to a nice neat living room! Len, are you reading this?

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's Always Something...

As I type this, Miss Daisy is with Len and the Vet School in Athens. I hope the Great Oz (the cardiologist who never steps out from behind his sonogram machine) is giving her a clean bill of health and Len no longer has to truck her out there each week. Besides, she doesn't much like being poked and prodded at by vet school students. She seems to be doing great, though. Sweet little thing.

I'm back on MARTA after the summer of riding my scooter to work. Everyone in my office loves my new hairstyle, sans helmet head. Me, too. Plus, I get a lot of knitting done on the train anyway. I've been working on this lace project for some time. After, oh, eleven or so attempts, I'm getting pretty frustrated with the thing. I am more determined to complete it, since I've spent so much energy on it already. I'll miss a stitch and because the yarn is so delicate and fuzzy (lace weight alpaca) I can't just find the mistake and start from there. I pretty much have to pull the damned thing out and start over every time. There HAS to be a better way.

I finally brought something home from the pottery that I like. It's a nice bowl that I glazed in sky blue. It came out kind of an olive green with sky blue streaks. When I saw it on the shelf, I picked it up, wondering who made it so I could ask how they did it -- and the bowl was mine! Cool! It's awfully thick and heavy though. More practice...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Patsy Coleman, Rest in Peace

My aunt Patsy died on Saturday of Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS.

Patsy was a lot of things: a mother, a wife, a housewife, a rape victim, a psychic, and a bit of a nutjob. When I was a kid, I thought she was the coolest person alive.

She and my mother were pretty close when I was a young child, and I remember her family coming to visit us a lot and our family going to visit hers a lot. Mom and Patsy and I would go for weekend trips -- just us girls -- where they would smoke and gossip and connive about the family and the world and I'd listen in. To my young ears, theirs were the most interesting conversations I'd ever heard. That's how I learned about my family history. It was during those conversations that I learned how my sister Paula was my half sister and that her mother died giving birth to her and her twin, who also died during the birth. I learned about my mother's first husband and the father of my sister Sunny and brother Patrick (Skeeter). We went to the grave site of my mother's first love. I believe his name was Bill and he died relatively young, maybe 40. I doubt my mom even remembers that I was there with her on all those trips. I just quietly tagged along because I thought those two women together were fascinating.

In fact, I can see a lot of parallels between their relationship and my own relationships with my women friends.

When I was around 8 years old, Patsy started talking a lot about reincarnation and psychic powers -- as in, she claimed she had them. And, she'd give me and mom readings and I swear I believed every word she uttered. I still remember her teaching me how to gather positive energy with my hands. My father was pretty sick at the time, and slept with an oxygen tank next to his bed. For years, I'd go into his bedroom at night after he fell asleep and gather all the positive energy I could and push it toward him. I thought I was helping him and in some way it made me feel good. I was so grateful she tought me how to do something for him.

Patsy came to visit us once unexpectedly and there was always a cloud of secrecy over that trip. She'd been injured and mom told us Patsy had been mugged. I was an adult before I realized she'd been raped and came to mom for support and comfort. That's still a topic my mom doesn't discuss.

We eventually moved too far away from Patsy to continue to visit so often, and she and my mom lost touch and never again were as close.

The last time I saw Patsy was in Ann Arbor Michigan. She and mom came to visit not long after Len and I got married. We were living in the rented green house on Fifth Street then, and they only stayed the night. She looked great and they were both happy.

About six months ago, mom told me about the ALS. I always meant to call or write Patsy, but never got around to it. Now she's gone.

I don't believe in reincarnation and the afterlife or psychic powers anymore, but I know you still did, Patsy. If I'm wrong and you can get this message, I've missed you, Aunt Patsy. Whether you knew it or not, you were a huge influence in my life.

Rest in peace, you crazy woman.