Monday, April 16, 2007

April is so Cruel

So many awful things happen in April - and now a shooting of such magnitude in Virginia.

I know no more about it than anyone else, I have nothing insightful to say, but I didn't want to gloss over something that is probably on everyone's mind this evening. What a waste.

Heaven help the victims, the families of the victims, and the shooter. I hope that the community in Virginia is able to mirror the healing &
forgiving attitude of the Amish community after the horrible shoting in Pennsylvania last year.

I don't know if I'd have the strength to react that way, but I like to think that I'd try.

Knitting Stuff et al
I sent off a few projects today - we met with Gerry's doctor and the application for disability seems to be a long, long road of paper & documentation. The big event today was Gerry and I went to Menards (can I get enough of that place?) and he walked around pushing a cart while we looked at showers, outdoor tables and garbage cans.

Then on to Target for the search for the perfect windbreaker for Gerry - we didn't find it.

I have never felt more like a retired couple in my life, we may as well have stopped at Denny's for the early bird special. The nausea medicine has been working well and for 2 evenings Gerry's had a nice, regular dinner. We'll have to start a new blog - - and we'll finally be the surreal, edgy heroes of the counter culture. Speaking of Heroes, WHEN is that show coming back on!

Doggie Stuff
I took Atticus for a nice, long walk this morning - after repairing his leash. The dog has sharp teeth, and he knows how to use them! He can bite through a leash in seconds, and it's high time we got a chain leash for him!

Here is the repair I did on the leash a few days ago - note that I'm using SCREWS, obviously I'm a little too hardware-oriented these days. The next image was taken at the end of the walk - just look at that guilty dog - after he'd chewed through the leash yet again and I had to tie it together to walk him home.

How did I know he'd chewed through the leash? Why, he strolled into Wuollet's when I was buying a danish for Gerry. (Check out

School Stuff
We met with Hannah's teacher for our Parent Teacher conference (we'd put it off last week) and were happy to hear that academically she's doing pretty well. She does have to work on the respect-for-teacher angle (it's not that she's disrespectful as much as very independent - but that, in itself, can present problems in a classroom and she needs to understand how difficult it can make things!) And we also have to work on her writing - it's good, just not as detail filled as we know she can do. I'm beginning to understand why she likes to write poetry - less words...

And now back to my own knitting on another project - this one was due in June, but the deadline's been pushed back to May 5th, so I'll be rushing a bit. It's lovely yarn, though, so it's a dream to work fast through it. We have more tests this week, more excellent knitting time. And good heavens, am I glad to have my iPod!

Special Note:

For those of you who have been writing with good thoughts and excellent suggestions - thank you so much!

I'm sorry if I haven't gotten back to all of you, my computer time is sorely curtailed these days, I'm not able to answer all of my emails let alone write thank you notes for your kindness, but I really will try to answer each of you!

And for those of you just
thinking good thoughts - thank you so much!
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Lucy said...

Just wanted to chime in to say I'm one of those that are thinking good thoughts for you and yours. ...and also for those in Virginia. I been lurking for a while - really enjoy your style - both knitting and writing!

April 16, 2007 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

I'm glad Gerry's able to eat. I was going to suggest sipping Instant Breakfast whenever possible for extra calories and nutrition.
Annie, you'll have to make a trip to Fleet Farm if you like Menard's. They have cool farmy things like baling twine and galvanized tubs, and farm clothing, rolls of fencing, etc. It's worth the trip just to see the cooler full of cow medicines. I like the Hudson, WI location better than Oakdale, especially since Hwy 36 is closed near there.
Also, you'd probably like Seven Corners Hardware, an old classic hardware store on W 7th in St Paul--combine it with a trip to Cossetta's across the street for excellent pizza. I once saw a monk in there eating ice cream.
We're pulling for you. I only wish you had lived here long enought to experience the long-time Menard's pitchman, Ray Szmanza (now retired), that white-haired dynamo with the buzz-saw voice worming his way into our living rooms ad nauseam. The voice they use now is only a pale imitation of the real thing.

April 16, 2007 10:33 PM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Dogs are good therapy and good for problem solving(ie leash repair)-my border collie chews through ANYTHING when he is tied up. I think he and Atticus would love each other.

April 16, 2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen C. said...

There is still so much that is not known... my students (at another Va university less than 2 hours away from Tech) were on their cell phones all day... recieving calls and sending calls looking for friends and family.
Such relief when news was heard. Such worry as others waited on through the afternoon.
It will be some time sorting through the confusion. And in the meantime... life goes on. Classes meet here, and students function as best they can...
It's a hard way to learn about loss, and at an age when they still think they're so strong and invincible.

April 17, 2007 12:31 AM  
Anonymous gina said...

Re: the might want to try locating a Lupine leash, guaranteed chew proof...and they will send you a new one if it does get shredded. website is, or 1-800-228-wolf. I have had much success with this brand.

Re: Virginia Tech, another senseless act of violence. We must all remember how difficult this is going to be for that community, the campus and all of us that know people there. We must learn from this horrific event.

April 17, 2007 6:42 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

When we filed for my DH disability it was an involved process. We dragged the blue file (all lab, procedure, Dr. reports) everywhere we went. It seemed like a long exhausting procedure but was actually fairly easy in big picture. Just keep those papers with you to answer the questions easily and keep heart. Incidentally I learned to knit during this time and used some of your wonderful patterns. Since you were there for me, know that I will be there for you.
One step at a time.

April 17, 2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

One option is to soak the leash in Bitter Apple spray or Pepper spray--something Atticus won't like tasting. However, my dogs get terribly anxious when tied up outside anyplace...and revert to bad behaviors. Also, they sense when I am anxious/worried/upset and sometimes behave irratically because of it. (yesterday, for instance, as I listened to the news of the deaths in Blacksburg and cried.) With the move and Gerry's illness, this might be one of those times for your puppy.

April 17, 2007 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

How about Ensure for added nutrition?

April 17, 2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annie, Just know we are all out here thinking of you and sending prayers and healing vibes to Gerry. Sounds like Atticus is doing his part to distract! Be strong (but do give yourself those moments alone to let it all out). You are doing an awesome job! You are an awesome person. Best, Sheri

April 17, 2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Annie - I've been reading your blog recently and I wanted to leave you some encouragement about the disability paperwork. My mom had to go through it last year after MS diagnosis, and it really wasn't quite as bad as it initially looks. Plus, it sounds like you're an organized person so that should help! My prayers are with you and your family. Hilary

April 17, 2007 1:13 PM  
Blogger SandraTee said...

I work at one of the hospitals that several of the VA Tech shooting victims were sent. I also attended VA Tech way back when abd frequently visit the campus and downtown area .... still can't believe it happened....

April 17, 2007 1:51 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Just checking your blog after a computer hiatus and I'm so, so sorry about your husband and how this must be affecting your family. Hang tough, stay strong and do what you have to do to deal (crying in the car, that made me cry just to hear it).

I hope the treatment options work well and I wish your family the best possible outcome.

April 18, 2007 1:51 AM  
Blogger Sweet Camden Lass said...

Hannah sounds like me (and my friend who's writing a PhD) - we've got so much to say that we speed through it and lose the detail in the process.
Try her with a fountain pen or a calligraphy pen - the extra thought that goes into making the letters often slows you down just enough to get all the details out.

April 18, 2007 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Still thinking good thoughts for you and yours, also for the families of the victims in Virginia. I think the Ensure idea is a good one. My dad had Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma and Bladder cancer. He drank an Ensure everyday just to get more vitamins. I think it helped.

I think Heroes starts again next week. I'm not positive. The commercial said the last 4 or 5 episodes. If I see it again I will write it down and let you know for sure. I LOVE that show.

Here's to Gerry eating very good meals every day!

April 18, 2007 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Eastofeden said...

First of all....good thoughts and prayers for you and your family as you all adjust to the many changes happening in life right now. Glad you have been able to find some bright spots...keep looking for them when things feel really dark.

As far as leashes are concerned...have you tried a good sturdy leather leash? For a dog Atticus's size you probably want a on that is at about 1 inch wide and is 6 ft in length. They may feel stiff at first but become very soft after use...also they are very easy on your hands if your dog pulls (won't cause burns like nylon leashes can). They can be expensive...but will last for years (I have one that I have used for about 15 years now).

April 18, 2007 8:34 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

HEROES is supposedly supposed to be on this Next Monday the 23rd, we'll see, it makes it hard to want to watch a show when they do this crap, don't ya think.

April 18, 2007 10:47 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I'm chiming in on the Ensure too, if he can tolerate it. I have Celiac disease, and I was wondering if Gerry has been checked for that. If left untreated it can develop into many other problems, but treatment for celiac is merely a change in diet. He's in my prayers, and you too, hang in there strong lady! I'm looking forward to seeing you in Michigan in a few weeks!

April 18, 2007 11:45 AM  

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