Archive for September 9th, 2011

“Another disappointment…”

Just when I had made a resolution to post a little more often, all hell broke loose.   There’s been a heck of a lot going on over here at The Havens, and not all of it has been good.   I admit to sitting at the computer and just not feeling like writing anything.   I go off and visit my webfriends, am amused and cajoled, and then I . . . go do something else.

I mentioned that Jim’s brother died recently, and he went off to Wyoming to attend the funeral.   Well, he went to attend one of the services.  Other than the fact that it was a funeral, the visit with his siblings was really good for him.  The other service was a week later in California where Don was buried with full military honors at a veteran’s cemetery there.    Jim was not able to go to that one, but got a full report from his sister last night.

My aunt also died during the same time frame.  Her children were so involved in her final illness that they didn’t think to notify my mother she was in hospital.  She would have liked to be able to bid her sister farewell, and even attend the funeral.  But she wasn’t told until after the funeral was over.   So there is sadness and umbrage in my maternal ancestor that is making fallout in the area.

Meanwhile, we got news that Jim’s best friend Jay, who is the husband of my best friend Jeri, had a massive stroke last Sunday.  (These are the folks that I used to go floating with, that we used to spend time with cooking and eating grand food, whom I have visited in Costa Rica.)  Due to the language barrier that exists and the incredible stress of the actual event, Jay wound up being put on extensive life support systems when he finally got to the hospital.  This would have been totally against all his desires had he been responsive at all.  It turns out that once you are on life support, even if you are basically brain dead, there is a certain amount of paternalistic and legalistic b.s. that must be complied with in order to turn it off.  So Jay is in limbo right now, and I can tell you that he would be really pissed off about that if he was conscious at all.

I will just say that there is a lot of stress and frustration involved when the friend you love best in the world is going through hell a few thousand miles away so you can’t hold her in your arms and make sure she is eating; while at the same time the man you love and treasure has just suffered and emotional one-two punch to the gut and is also in need of love and support.  Not to mention the fact that I loved and respected Jay too.   I take some comfort that Jeri’s daughter  Heather is in Costa Rica helping her through this.

The truth of the matter is that Heather is under some constraints because of her job, and is probably going to have to come back to the States fairly soon.  The plan is for Jeri to come back home to the US and live with Heather and her husband in St. Louis once things are finalized in Costa Rica.  Depending on events, I most likely will be traveling down there as the backup support system betwixt times.  This will put some strain on our finances, but neither Jim nor I really gives a damn about the money at this point.   It will not break us, it will just set us back a bit.

My darling husband mentioned to me that if it would make me feel better, he suggests that we contact one of our mutual friends and have him take care of our guns while I am gone.  The head-spinning implications of that remark rocked me to the core, and I questioned him closely whether this was really something I should worry about. ??!?  Besides, if he really wanted to commit suicide, lack of guns in the house would not keep him from it.   He told me last night that he thought he would go to the counseling services at the hospital after work, which I encouraged him to do.   But this morning he tells me he doesn’t think it is necessary.   Oh?   We may be making an extra trip to the Fort this afternoon; if I have to frog march him in there I will.

I’m pretty sure that I mentioned that my niece Zoey is living with us.   This is also stressful.   She is a lovely young woman who arrived here in a state of deep depression.   Since she has arrived, she has recovered a lot of her spirits, made huge strides in growing up from the emotional age of about 10 she brought to our doorstep, lost 35 pounds of the 70 she needs to lose, and has been a HUGE help to me.   But the systematic mental and emotional abuse that she was subjected to during her first 21 years is not something that she can heal from overnight.   The road has been a little rocky the last couple of weeks, but we are soldiering through.

So that’s what has been going on here that has kept me off the blogosphere.  Frankly, I feel like I need a few stiff drinks about now.   Raspberry lambic would be good.  Maybe I’ll frogmarch myself into counseling.


In other news, I begin to feel a lot like Miranda Priestley, Meryl Streep’s character from “The Devil Wears Prada.”   “Another disappointment…” she sighs.   “That is all.”

Remember my hat?   The one I was so excited to replace with one from the same source?   Well, the new one arrived.  After opening the package and trying on the new hat, I sent a scathing email to the company.   It’s the same old story.   Price up, quality down, and while we’re at it, let’s out-source the manufacturing, thus eliminating jobs from the US economy that it could desperately use.   Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will post six thousand words below.

Aside from the fact that the fabric is lower quality with a looser weave, and the stitching is looser and made with inferior thread, the hat doesn’t even fit.   Apparently in the last 20 years, size 7 1/4 has changed.   What I think really happened is that the factory in China makes a three sizes (small, medium and large) and just puts different tags in them to pretend that they are actually sized to fit actual heads the way the hat used to be.   As you can see from the bottom shot, the new hat is quite a bit larger in diameter than the old hat, but despite the size difference the new hat actually weighs LESS than the old one.  This in spite of the fact that the old hat lost quite a bit of material when it started to fall apart.

I also wonder about the brass fittings.   Are they solid brass like the old ones or some cheap aluminum plated with brass?  I didn’t destroy one to find out.   The company, to give them credit, sent me a two sentence response to my rather lengthy complaint, which I will quote here:

“If you are unhappy with your  please return your hat for a full refund plus $7.50 shipping credit.
Please refer to return number 6306 when making your return.”
How nice of them.   A side note here:   I have returned the hat, and using the absolutely cheapest method of return, it still cost me more than the amount that they allotted to me for shipping.   Oh well.
I have decided to mend the old hat pending discovery of a better quality replacement.   This will funkify it substantially, adding to the “cool” factor (IMHO).
I’m about 85% done with the actual sewing on of the patches.
Last, but not least, I have been attempting to get a good shot of the fur detail around Mallory’s eyes.   The way she is marked gives her an extremely oriental visage when she stares at you from across the room.
It isn’t that easy to get a close up portrait of such a busy kitten, I can tell you.   For every one like that above, I got about ten like this:
There is a lot of play value in a camera.
I believe I have run on enough.   Time to go see if there isn’t something useful to accomplish; like walking the dog, say.
Take care, and make sure to hug your loved ones.

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