Me

Going “Crafty Stitches”

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Now that Brynn has been sprung from the hospital (yesterday, with a picc line… think IV catheter), I can reflect on the week.

Over the years, we’ve developed a lot of family lingo — terminology that means nothing to you, but everything to us. This post is devoted to the newest vernacular:

Going ‘Crafty Stitches.’

Sleep deprivation and stress leads to irrational behavior, as I so aptly displayed last weekend. On Saturday, Martin took the hospital post, while I swapped him for Cayden/Hadley. (This was my first foray into the gen pop. Safe to say, I wasn’t myself.)

The game plan: drop Hadley at her sewing class in Virginia, while Cayden and I cooled our heels at a nearby cafe called “The Bean Bar.”  Then we’d reconvene at the farm and, with my mom, pilgrimage to Hopkins to visit Brynn.

(Sidenote: add “sewing” to Hadley’s resume. At Christmas she acquired a sewing machine and she wants to make her own clothes.)

Sleet was falling when we arrived at Hadley’s final session in a 10-week-long, dress-making course. But the sewing store was shuttered and darkened. I peered in the window and noticed that the equipment — a bank of sewing machines — was gone.

I called Crafty Stitches but the phone number was out of service. Seething, I dragged the kids to The Bean Bar. I ordered them breakfast, cracked open my laptop, and began drafting a message, delivered to every email address associated with Crafty Stitches.

In my own defense, I refrained from using profanity. And I didn’t directly threaten anyone. But the message was venomous and angry. I demanded the immediate(!) return of Hadley’s dress. Perhaps they’d moved locations, I speculated — though I doubted it… my words dripping with sarcasm. There was no sign on the store front and the phone was disconnected.

I assumed they were closed and I didn’t care about their business or the employment status of their staff. With a sick child in the hospital and another one despondent over her sister’s illness, I was FED UP.

I imagined the sewing machines — sold at rock-bottom prices to a competing business — and I pictured Had’s dress and other projects discarded in a dumpster. That really got my hackles up. I wanted the dress that Hadley had so painstakingly sewn and I wanted it, RIGHT NOW. And, I wanted to shove bamboo shoots under the owners’ fingernails.

As I drafted my message, I plotted my next move: if the email bounced back, I’d contact the realty agency. I’d demand contact information and I’d hunt these people down!

Often, you hear about impulsive emails — messages sent, then instantly regretted. I suffered no regret. I reviewed my missive… vetting it for typos… and pondered adding expletives. Then, narrowing my eyes, I hit “send.”

Two minutes later, as the kids tucked into breakfast, my cell phone rang. The caller identified herself as a Crafty Stitches employee. She quickly explained that they’d moved.

“Where?” I demanded.

“Do you know where the Bean Bar is?”

“Yes!” I hollered. “Yes, I know where the Bean Bar is!”

“Well, we’re two doors down.”

“Oh,” I said flatly. “Well, we’re be there… in about 30 seconds.”

As we walked into the bustling store, I apologized for my cloaked threats. (Turns out, the phone was temporarily out.)

“We sent emails blasts,” the employee explained.

“I never got those,” I said.

“We told parents,” the lady added.

“Well, you told my husband… that’s like talking to a piece of plywood,” I said.

“Look,” I added, hoisting my arms and cursing the tears welling in my eyes, “I’m sorry for the nasty email. I’ve got… a lot going on.”

Later, I shared the episode with Martin. He listened, then rolled his eyes and declared, “You’re a mental patient.”

A few days later, when Brynn’s hospital release sounded imminent, Martin mentioned that one test might not occur before discharge.

I bristled.

Martin made the “settle down” motion with his hand. “I already warned the staff that they’d be hearing from you,” he said. “Just go easy. Don’t go all Crafty Stitches, okay?”

I crossed my arms. “What? I’m not going to go all ‘Crafty Stitches’ on them! But she’s in for two more days and already, they can’t do this test? What’s that all about? I mean, WTF? I want those test results before she’s discharged! Is that too much to ask? IS IT?”

So no longer, do I “go postal,” or “Jeffrey Dahmer.” I don’t “chuck a mental,” (credit the Aussies for that one.)

Nope.

If I sense any push-back, I just might go Crafty Stitches on your ass!

Hodophilia

 

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If “hodophobia” is the is the fear of traveling, then I suffer from “hodophilia” — a strong desire to hit the road.

Really, it’s a disorder and I blame my parents (always good to blame them for everything). They planted the seed, by dragging me on their jaunts through Eastern Bloc countries in 1970s. We’d fly on a dodgy, patched-up plane, owned by a now-defunct charter company, and that thing would cough and sputter across the Atlantic, before depositing us in a Western European city. Then my parents would rent a tin can on wheels, and we’d wade into various Communist countries where vacationing Americans were a rare species.

I took the hook. Now I’m afflicted with traveler’s itch: I believe that passports shouldn’t nest in drawers. They should be cracked open and stamped violently by a passport control officer who barks, “reason for your visit!?”

Which isn’t how they behave in Ireland.

My passport was supposed to ride the pine for a year. But I caved 3 weeks ago and Martin caught me in the act… making a call to an airline customer service agent. I tried to disguise the conversation with airport code — “Yes, I’m calling about EWR to SNN, for 4, departure Feb 19…”

Martin wasn’t amused but he knows my track record. I’ve bolted twice to Ireland in February. It’s just this time, I was sneaky and last-minute. I hastily stocked-up on provisions (this year’s requests from overseas: tuna fish, Heinz relish and bras). And I crammed a couple of suitcases full of clothes, collected the kids’ freshly minted passports and off we went.

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So here we are in Eire, letting me get my travel fix — to smell Ireland, taste it, and see it again. And all the while, I’m planting the seed for the next generation of hodophiles.

They are already on their way.

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Hairy Day

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There are a few hard-and-fast rules to horse clipping:

  1. Never clip a dirty coat.
  2. Always use sharpened blades.
  3. Allow plenty of time.

I violated those rules today.

Actually, I attempted rule 2; I replaced my heavy-duty clippers with new blades. And commenced cutting.

Jazz made his feelings about the project abundantly clear:

Touch me with those things and I’ll take out a kneecap.

I didn’t plan for such truculence. And, with slim pickings in the barn medicine cabinet, I pulled the bottle of tranquilizer.

Jazz’s response:

Wow, I am sleepy… but touch me with those things, and I’ll take out a kneecap.

I’d allotted just 60 minutes for this chore (see rule 3). Desperate for results, I plugged in the little clippers fitted with dull, rusty blades.

A ridiculous prospect.

I had 10 minutes to work before I checked my watch and thought: Time’s up! Everyone, put your pencils down…

The school day was done.

Horse people, here’s what happens when you ignore rules 1, 2 and 3:

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Look, I attacked Jazz with a paint scraper.

 

Fortunately, there’s always a chance to follow rule #4:

If at first you don’t succeed… sedate, sedate again.

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