Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Surgery Over

Ok, here are the gruesome details. My doctor was kind enough to provide images from the camera inserted into my knee.Lovely, aren't they? That picture up in the left upper corner is the knee cap, and should be smooth. Think of a chicken leg bone, the white part on the end. Mine is, well, shredded into what looks to a fiber freak like angora in need of plucking.

That metal thingy you see is the instrument they used to scrape that fuzzy stuff out of my knee, and cauterize and seal it. I was awake through most of it, and the doctor was very good about showing me and explaining what they were doing. Problem is, I was a wee tad medicated, and some of it is fuzzy now, and getting more so.

So it's been a week, and I'm still using a cane to walk. My recovery has been a bit slower than expected, unfortunately, but it is progressing. I start PT on Friday, which I fully expect to be horribly painful, but will help, I hope.

I returned to work today. My desk was piled so high I couldn't see my monitor. Sigh. But I waded through a great deal of it and caught up fairly well. I took my lunch break at the end of the day so I could leave early, as the pain was steadily increasing and I could feel it swelling. So it's back to the armchair and the bags of ice for the evening. It was good to be up and around though, and I'm sure a relief for my beleaguered spouse.

I'll try to get some photos up tomorrow of the fibery things I've been working on while I've been immobile.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Annual Spring Sing

Tonight was Murphy's school annual "Spring Sing." As with most school concerts, a certain amount of tediousness can be expected; but the kids are so dang cute that you can't help but laugh and be so proud of them!

Much too late to do anything about it, we discovered our little angel has outgrown his one set of "church" clothes. The suit he wore six months ago will not even meet to button, and the pants are capris now. Sigh. So we had to do some improvising. Luckily, living in Ojai, amongst the hippies and the artists, one has great leeway with one's attire. So we morphed a few things and voila!

Daddy's tie and a shirt that had always been so big we forgot about it were enlisted and he looked so adorable!

He got to play the Glockenspiel, and he sang and made his motions with enthusiasm, making his mother so proud! It was lovely. Here he is with his best friend Natie.
And so another school year inches to a close, and we have to wait a whole year til NEXT Spring Sing. It'll be worth the wait!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Back to Family and Fiber

Ok, so here are the cutest kids.... EVER!

Murphy and Eric. Twelve years apart. The best children a mother could ever ask for. Smart, sweet, honest, loving, generous and gosh darn fun to be around. I am so blessed.

They gave me a lovely Mother's Day. Murphy wrote me a poem that made me cry for half an hour. Amazing. If I could have listed all the things I would want my children to think about me, it would have been that poem.

Eric braved foreign territory, venturing into the local yarn shop "Artful Living" to get me a perfect little project bag. He was wise enough to enlist the aid of the proprietor, Barbara, who knows me well. The bag came with several IOU's, including hugs and chores to be claimed in the future. Very sweet. Thanks, Eric!

My most beloved and charming husband made me buttermilk pancakes and ham and eggs for breakfast, and then took me out to Panda Buffet for dinner. The poor man worked like a dog all day, waiting on me and helping his friend move. It was a lovely day, and I felt very loved and cherished, even more so than I do on a normal day, and that's saying something!

My knee continues to deteriorate. Pain is getting worse by the day. Tomorrow I go for a pre-op visit, then Friday pre-op testing; then just hang in til Monday, courtesy of massive doses of ice and vicodin. I am holding my breath, counting the seconds.

Ok; the fiber stuff. Finished my second pair of socks. Knitpicks "Moc-Croc" pattern. I didn't think I was going to like them while I was knitting; the heel looked really weird. But when I put them on, it formed a perfect little snug pocket for my heel. I love them! The color is wild too; it's Tofutsies, made from soysilk and crab fiber. Yep, crab and shrimp shell. Man, they can make yarn out of ANYTHING these days!

Eric is having a love affair with all things Jamaican currently, so I knit him a hat reflecting those colors. Then of course, Murphy had to have one too! Despite the face, Murphy actually is laughing, not crying in that photo!

Then Eric asked for a different style hat. Found a picture on the internet of one for sale, and I tried to copy it. This is the result. It's crocheted. I haven't crocheted anything in ages, at least six months or so, might be a year! He's really pleased with it, and wants me to make some for his friends. It's called the "Dank Hat," as that is apparently the newest vernacular for really cool. I may post a pattern when I get it sussed out.

I'm working on another pair of socks, and a few other things that may or may not come to fruition. I'll post more when I get a chance. Right now... its off to the recliner to ice my knee and pop another pain pill. YIKES!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Why We Must Impeach this Administration

This is a very long and very political rant. If you're not up for it - Leave now!

I wrote a long time ago about how we needed to be better parents to this country. I still think that’s true, and it’s one of the main reasons that I think we need to impeach both Bush and Cheney. I’ve heard all the arguments from both sides; how it would be bad for the country, that it would be divisive, how it would undermine investigations into other crimes and corruptions, and God forbid we end up with a female president Pelosi by default!

There’s something to be said for just doing something because it’s the right thing to do. We want to teach our children moral behavior but then don’t call out our politicians when they “misbehave.” We want to have the moral imperative in the world but we don’t want to make a fuss when our leaders violate the most basic fundamentals of our Constitution.

What these people have done to our country, to our standing in the world, to our Constitution, to our collective psyche is so pervasive and so heinous that it must not stand. It might be easier to just ride along and let the next election take care of it, but we cannot allow the easy road. We must tell the people of the world, and indeed those same politicians that we will elect in the future, that we will not countenance these abuses of power. We must tell them that we do not slumber, that we are awake and watching and will call them to task for what they do in our name.

I’m tired of politics. I’m tired of having to assume that I will be lied to. I’m tired of people working only for their own best interests rather than the country’s. Yet it’s too important to give up. There are so many people I know who are “too busy” or too stressed or too fed up to follow what’s going on in our country. I don’t do enough either. It’s hard, and time consuming to stay informed, and sometimes one feels alone. I know there are people protesting, but somehow we don’t hear about it on the news, so it’s easy to become complacent.

I laugh, bitterly, every time I think of the furor made over President Clinton’s impeachment. Yes, he did something wrong. He lied about it. Of course, it was a question he should never have been asked, but putting that aside, he lied and he shouldn’t have, and he was IMPEACHED over it. I think that was a tad extreme, but hey, democracy in action, right?

But now, the man who could teach Orwell a thing or two about doublespeak, who has lied over and over and over about material issues, about things that resulted in the death of an uncountable number of people; he’s become the “Teflon kid.” Nothing sticks to him, and even more unfathomable, his party continues to look the other way. It’s beyond incomprehensible. How can people be so obtuse or so greedy as to allow the basic rights of the people of the United States to be worn away?

Has there ever before been a time when dissent meant you were unpatriotic? The McCarthy era, I suppose, another banner time in our country’s history. The first line of defense for the neo-cons is to attack the opposition’s love of country. I’m not the first to draw lines of comparison with the Third Reich, and I know it’s not considered proper to do so, but if we don’t learn from history we are destined to repeat it. The unanswered question has always been “How did the German people go along with him?” The answer is right in front of you now. It’s not happening quite as fast or efficiently as Hitler was able to manage it, but the same mechanisms are in effect. Unite the country under a fear of a common enemy. Undermine the patriotism of anyone who disagrees. Keep the regime immunized against answering tough questions. Slowly chip away at the rights of the citizenship, all in the name of safety, of course. Monopolize the press to limit dissension and keep your message of fear before the public. Give the executive figure more and more power, again in the name of homeland security.

Like presidential candidate Mr. Gravel, I am not afraid of any other country. We are strong in America. We are young and healthy and wealthy and we cannot be defeated by an outside force. I am, however, terrified of my government. We can be toppled from within, and I fear we are far down that road already. We have allowed a group of wealthy, powerful conservatives who do not believe in government to take over our government. Their icon, Ronald Reagan, said “I’ve always thought that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

How in the world can people who do not believe in government execute any kind of viable government?

Thom Hartmann, on AirAmerica Radio, speaks of the fundamental difference between progressives and conservatives. Conservatives believe that people are inherently evil and therefore must be regulated. Progressives believe that people are inherently good, and that the purpose of government is to uphold the people and help them achieve their best potential. It may be that the view one takes reflects one’s own character. These holier than thou Christians who feel that our country’s laws must be changed to agree with the religious law project their sins on others. I’ve never heard anyone say “Please, pass this law to prevent me from doing something sinful;” it’s always to stop another from doing something the first person would find objectionable. Almost puritanical, isn’t it? I know what’s best for you, dear.

I prefer the liberal view, myself. I prefer to let each person act within their own moral code, to believe what their faith leads them to believe. I think we are all (mostly) good, and if we can have our basic needs met, most people will act as good neighbors. Then I look at the neo-cons, and doubt, sometimes. They are appealing to our base nature, and they’re getting results.

There are so many things I’m angry about. I am angry at those who question my patriotism because I speak up when I don’t like what I see. I am angry at those who say we must respect the President simply because he is the President. I say I honor my country when I defend the Constitution from those who think it’s “quaint.” I think I honor the OFFICE of the President when I demand the occupant of the office perform his duties in the best interest of the country, not in the best interest of his bank account, or his church.

I love my country. The United States of America and its experiment in representational democracy is a historic and amazing place, and I’m so proud and blessed to be living here, where I can write a piece like this and not end up in jail. I want to preserve it. I want to make sure that when my son grows up, he too will be proud of his country, and able to speak his mind about the changes he would like to see. I want to leave this place better than I found it. I want to get back the reputation the United States enjoyed among the countries of the world, back to when we did have the moral high ground, when people all over knew that we would trade fairly and treat people well. In a short six years, all that is gone, despite the way the world got behind us after the World Trade Center was destroyed. GWB has taken all that “capital” and tossed it away.

We, the People, must impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to make clear to the world (and to the next generation of politicians) that America is good. To show that when the people speak, the leaders MUST listen, and that not even the President is exempt from the laws of our country. It’s tough love, but it’s the only way to reclaim our country and restore the glory it once deserved.

The congress needs to stand up and at least TRY to do the things that they believe to be right, even if there is no chance they can pass. There is no shame in being defeated in battle, but to not try because you know you’ll fail? We need to show we stand for the truth. It used to be that that was important; has the need to survive the next election changed that?

We need to do the things we know to be RIGHT. The President and Vice President have violated their oath of office many times over, and we must make them own that responsibility.