The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Overdue Update

            Based on the amount of writing you saw from me last week, you know it was a rough and tumble week for me.  I stood accused of having tempted the Fates with all of my positive happy happy I have written on my blog.  I don’t think that’s it at all.  I do watch the minor emergencies that crop up in awe some days.
     My daughter got her finger caught in the QT (a gas station) restroom door as she was coming out last week-end (not the past couple days, but the week-end before).  Has it only been a week?  Now, I HATE Western medicine and I hate hospitals even more than that—I, the woman who refused to take her to the ER when she was little and the dog we’d adopted rolled her…  (Minor lacerations—after my initial freak-out, all was well.  Dog got a new home—he was just being a dog—he could have killed her.  Easily.) I, FREAKED OUT, and begged R to take us to the emergency room.  There is nothing better than getting to the ER ll freaked out and worried and in need of sedation yourself and being told—you should have waited 15-30 minutes w a compression injury before coming to the ER.  Basically, they washed her finger.  Put a regular every day band-aid on it.  Told me to give her some Tylenol.  And that was it.  My daughter, though in pain, was pretty much fine by the next day.  I felt as if I were going to puke for the entire week.  The finger is now fine, just a little scabbed at the top, now, but my stomach still flip flops when I think about it.
     All because I was already sick to my stomach and needed ginger ale—otherwise, we’d have stayed in the car while R pumped gas and we’d have all been fine.
     At least we did pay for the trip to Branson before her finger was hurt…so we do at least have that to look forward to later this year.
     See…things could have been so much worse.  Her fingertip when we first saw it was bent so far back I swore it was broken—hence, the freak out and trip to the ER.  Compression injuries always look worse than they are, says the ER nurses and the ER doctor.  If I were tempting the Fates, 1—it wouldn’t have happened to E—it would have happened to me and 2-I would have broken and/or lost a finger.  What happened was an accident, but it wasn’t too bad.
     Seems we all had injuries that week-end—me, N, and even R. That I don’t find menacing—I find that funny.  Just someone up above reminding us we are flesh and blood creatures and we need to slow the heck down now and then.

     My loving boyfriend took E and me out to eat this week.  He took us to Ranoush in the Loop (the website plays music, so be aware if you’re checking it out somewhere where you need to be quiet).  Oh my gosh, was this place fantastic!  Originally we were going elsewhere, but the other restaurant didn’t throw us the kids are welcome here vibe, so we went further on.  We are certainly very glad that we did.  The atmosphere is so welcoming.  The music was amazing.  The staff was beyond incredible.  We never had to ask for a thing.  Before we could ask, it was already on the table.  The food…oh, the food… it blew me away on so many levels.  The worst thing we can say is…they only have belly dancing on the week-ends so we didn’t get to see any.  But there is always next time.
 Ranoush serves Syrian cuisine.  We ordered the traditional mezza for two, even though there were three of us.  We were so certain E wasn’t going to eat anything there, we were making deals to take her to McDonald’s afterwards if she would just let R and I eat in peace before we decided what to order.
     There is something about this food.  After reading reviews of Ranoush, I was surprised by how many people slammed the food.  It is so brilliantly flavored.  The tastes were harmonious and flavorful.  Even the more mild dishes had such genuine flavor, even if it was a seemingly subtle flavor.  It was one of those meals where I sat and thought, if only we had a few hours to sit here and talk and nibble and truly enjoy and savor each and every mouthful and morsel.  I disliked the whole American dining experience—eat and get out—someone else needs your table…I felt as if I were preventing them from increasing their business by wanting to savor every mouthful.  I hate that about this culture (American, not Syrian)…everything now now now now now…give me the French idea of a meal and let’s all be happy…a few hours to nosh on this food would have been beyond amazing. 
     I cannot even tell you all of what we had.  What I can tell you is my ultra snooty, ultra picky, if it looks icky I won’t even think about touching it much less eating it grumpy girl picky eater E…..ATE SOME OF EVERYTHING…and actually LIKED it, all of it, as well.  It took a little bit of coaxing at first, but boy, once she started eating things, she started to wolf things.  She had such a good time.  The falafel was so great—but it was green, brilliant green inside.  E wouldn’t touch it at first, because it was green.  Then we finally managed to get her to try it—and she loved it.  She ate hummus and baba ganoush and a lovely spicy dish that we still don’t know the name of.  There is nothing on that platter that child didn’t taste and didn’t like.  I am so excited! 
     She ordered hot mint tea—the tea pot looked as if a genie might be hiding in it.  The pot itself stayed warm the entire meal, so she didn’t have to worry about her tea getting cold.  The tea was served in this tiny little demi tasse with a little doll house looking spoon…E was in love with the entire affair.  I had cardamom kahwa, which is Turkish coffee—which I love anyway.  I’d never had cardamom coffee, but there is something in my Nordic forebears that calls me to cardamom every time I see it on a menu.  I was so not disappointed.  Beware, for the uninitiated, Turkish coffee may be a bit strong on first sip…but what I drank that evening so was rich and excellently textured as it slid over my tongue, once it was cool enough…liquid heaven…I swear.  Since E loved the place so much, we get to go back.  We are all looking forward to that. 
     Better yet, now I can make hummus and baba ganoush at home.  Now I have something to do w the eggplant I feel the urge to buy when we go to Global Foods.  E can’t wait to learn how to make these things.  That is the best thing about the entire experience.
     Poor R…we walked up and down the Loop (Delmar Ave).  I love the Loop.  It’s where I got my second tattoo…and several others. (First tattoo was done in Little rock, AR, I think…I know it was AR.  I didn’t pay as much attention back then.)  Both times I got my navel pierced, it was on the Loop.  My nose, pierced on the Loop.  They even have bubble tea on the Loop now…my sister is going to be THRILLED to learn that. 
     I did talk him into letting me venture into Vintage Vinyl.  Vintage Vinyl is like a drug for me…I find the absolute coolest stuff every time I walk in that place.  I usually end up spending way too much money though.  Not including tax, this time I walked out having spent under $30…and I came away with what, 5, maybe 6 cds…and I wasn’t even in there an entire hour.  I think the time limit was 20 minutes…yes, the man does know how I am…I could have spent the night strolling through that place…and all I did was look at music…no movies, no videos, no albums.  I have been trying to find a local band called Irish Xiles…but I think I will have to be happy to just go out and see them play for right now…we met their mom at IHOP here in Florissant the other day and she simply gushed about them…that’s the best kind of mom right there.
     This week-end was so bloody hectic—there was so much to do.  I am so grateful for having the crazy rabbits live w us.  For one thing, we are spending a lot more time at our house.  Which is making everyone very happy.  There is a great deal to be said for knowing where everything is and everything having its own place. 
     The children’s charity called again last week…they will have a truck in our area again next week…they called at just the right time.  I had already started going through things again and was wondering where to take things this time when they called.  R and I had picked up a bunch of clothes for me…we’d have gotten stuff for him if they’d had anything…but we made plans for the stuff for me…as in we went there one day, the sale started the next day…I bought my books the first day and the next we went back in and bought a bunch of stuff for me since it was all on sale…so, since I have new clothes, I had to go through and get rid of old clothes.  It’s getting easier and easier to walk in and look at my clothes and say, yep, you’re out of here.  I am still amused by the tenacity to which I hold on to my business suits.  I haven’t needed an actual business suit since I was sixteen or so and mixing with ‘real business men’.  Otherwise, the rest of my life has pretty much been business casual…which I despise greatly for the most part. 
     I am also going through a bunch of other stuff that it hadn’t really occurred to me to go through.  After purging my yarn…and putting it up for sale on craigslist…it dawned on me I have stuff in my craft storage closet in the basement I probably haven’t looked at since we moved out of Ft Smith, AR.  So, I have, not really slowly, been going through all of that.  I am kinda chagrined by how much I am getting rid of though.  Not just from the AR collections, but of everything all together.  Those boxes of miscellaneous stuff that I have held on to through move after move after move because there is really no place to put anything but I didn’t want to get rid of the stuff because I might need the stuff someday…the contents of said boxes are currently spread across a small (now) portion of my basement floor…if I cannot find a use for it right now, or in the near and foreseeable future, it gets donated—or thrown away.  Some of it really is just trash—which gets divided into recycling and garbage…but still…everything that stays must be put away…period.  Put it where it goes or get rid of it.  I am really enjoying this.
     I am afraid of when the day comes that I decide, yes, it is time to go through all the fabric stash too…only because I am not sure where the fabric bins stop and the paper bins start…yes, I have boxes and bins of school supplies…I am a writer and a home-schooler, so yes, I tend to stock up every year when there are sales. 
     The worst day, I think, will be when I look at the kids toys again and say…enough is enough here…and really start to go to town…
     This week-end we went to visit my friend Kerry.  I felt so bad.  We descended upon Kerry and Leni with both children in tow, but they both handled it with aplomb.  We went to this excellent little café—I knew I should have grabbed a menu because I’d forget the name…I am so going to have to get a map of Alton now, because I definitely want to go back.  The food may be delicious (it is—oh it is) but it was the service and the ambiance that really endeared this place to me. 
     I love their house.  This is such a real home, so calm and so inviting.  Think fairy horses and fairies all over…I love it.  Kerry was getting over a little something…and I think I might be coming down w something, so I tried not to spread my germs all over.  My kids loved these two.  E has met Kerry before, but not Leni.  She’s always a little shy around new men.  N hadn’t met either.  N liked them so much that right after meeting them, he pretty much jumped in their car w them and was ready to go anywhere they wanted to take him, whether I followed behind in the other vehicle or not.  That for N is amazing.  These are good people.  The boy has given his seal of approval.  Luckily for all, he was not so comfortable that he stripped to his undies as soon as he entered their house…he was a good and polite little snot, the whole time.
     What really keeps striking me lately is R.  R and the kids, together.  His biggest fear revolves around being a father figure and being a good influence on all of us.  Me?  The one who works so hard to corrupt this man…in all the best ways? >;)  But, yes, he worries about his parenting skills…he still won’t take me up on the offer (yet) to have one of our own so he can see…these fears stick with you from day one all the rest of your life, no matter if they are step-kids or your own kids…worrying about being a good parent is par for the course.  I watched him w the kids this week-end and again, even at K and L’s house, he is so good w the kids.  Not just as an uncle.  Not just as an authority figure.  But in all his interactions w them.  The man has the patience of Job anyway…but with these kids, he is always spot on and on point.  He is always loving and firm and constant.  Both my kids love and adore him.  Even if they do freak him out.
     N takes a bit to get through to at times…especially when he has to share me…there are a great many terrors the boy has in relation to losing me…we get to see those in action periodically…especially if I am so bone-headed I forget what time it is on a Friday and I am not there waiting for him when he gets here (ok, so it might help if T would call or email at any point on Friday to give me a heads up on time since it is not a consistent time every week…but that’s just me and my need for communication…ya know? Having to wait from 3 to 6p, sometimes later, every Friday runs old, even if it is for my boy)…we’ve also seen it during episodes where R is trying to make a point, like trying to get N to put his shoes on so we can go, and N won’t listen if I am in the room (this hasn’t happened in awhile—the last time was more than enough for all of us—we don’t have many issues when it comes to getting ready to go anywhere—except on Sundays when it’s time to start heading back to T’s to drop N off…)…but R is getting through to N…and to me…because N is my baby and I am more protective of him in many different ways than I am of E…N and I have a rapport there…like N hurt his finger the same week-end E crushed her finger…and I reacted totally differently.  W N, it was a scrape and there was no blood—and I knew what he needed.  R and I actually collided there, because he was trying to do the right thing by checking to make sure the scrape was clean, since a small flap of skin had come loose—R wanted to make sure there was no dirt or further injury…and N and I just knew, together, all it needed right that second was a band-aid and we could look at the results later…that nothing was going to come from the boo boo that couldn’t be handled when everyone was less hysterical (I was still woozy from the whole E in the ER situation)…R could have killed me…but I knew…I just knew.  If I could have explained things in a way that makes logical sense, r wouldn’t have been so upset w me—he was trying to do the right thing…and I go airy fairy on him (what?  T is the only one who can be annoyed by that? Lol)  Band-aid now—look at it later.  Yes, N plays off of me, emotionally…but we do have that connection…that weird emotional energetic whatever you want to call it vibe…that says just fix it please just fix it and later I will poke and prod at it myself and you can do whatever you want then too just put a band-aid on it right now—that click happens in less than a second—it is just shared knowledge between us.  It doesn’t help that N’s hands are always dirty, ingrained dirt, with his banging on the carpets and floors.  That was R’s main concern.  I totally got that, but I know my kid.   If R were a violent man, I am certain he’d have hit me for all the drama that morning…and I so would not have blamed him right then…so long as I got a band-aid on N’s finger and the screaming stopped…from everyone…
     In the end, the band-aid was on.  N calmed down.  R and I talked.  N showed us his finger later and as much as I hate to say it, showed that I was right in this instance w him…I think he got his finger caught in the closet door actually…while he was playing w the exercise wheel thing…it wasn’t bad at all…but when emotions are already heightened after the stuff w E and the ER…every little thing takes on a huge importance…and N reacts to the energies around him…he has no choice.  My poor boys.  But they are finding a happy medium together. We all are, as a family, whether R feels as if he is doing a good job or not.  He really is doing a stellar job.  We are finding our footing as a family.  It only took him a year to find that groove, whether he wants to admit it or not, and nothing says that things can’t change, can’t improve, can’t get better.  No one says we cannot instill more rules, or change rules, or reduce the rules, that we apply to the kids.  We’re a family.  We stick together.  We work all these things out, together.  If you ask the kids what they really like about things w us as a family, they’ll tell you it’s that we are together.  We spend time together.  We do things together.  The ‘together’ is the important part.  We can have the suckiest days out there, but they are still days as a family.  Those days when we go home and everyone crashes by 9p…they happen.  But we won’t trade them in for life apart.  It’s just not in us, not in any of us.