The visit with my mother wasn't awful. I'm getting more adept at dealing with her quirks, like when we were sitting in the insurance agency's office (part of my visit was dedicated to her homeowner's coverage) and she started getting into a review of her property tax bill. I swear she was getting down into the millage rates for fire and rescue, it was that numbing. She did not have the bill in her hand, this was from memory. I interrupted with, "Your grandson is doing great, thanks for asking!" Because she had yet to ask about the well-being of either of her two grandchildren. The property tax bill is more interesting to her.
She started defending herself, saying she was just about to ask about him. I said, "Yeah, after we dissected the property tax bill and every negative thing you read in the newspaper in the last month." She didn't have much to say about that, so I changed the subject to Boychild.
And that is how I did it. I just kept pointing out when she was discussing minutiae instead of real life, and dragged the conversation back to living beings, or even stories about my late father. But Jesus, the property tax bill? It's not like she has trouble paying it, it is not an issue.
Regarding the non-taking of medication, we had this hilarious exchange:
She: I know those doctors, they will get together and decide to put me in a home. And I want you to look out for me, and tell them that I am fine.
Me: Enormous Guffaw and Unladylike Snorting.
Me: The doctors can only look at what they see, which is an 81 year old woman who is not acting responsibly and taking her medication, and whose blood pressure went sky-high because of it. That is what happened, and how am I supposed to argue with that? "Oh, doctors, she's only faking this, though the stroke she may suffer will be very real...." Take the goddamn medication, if you have side effects discuss them with the doctor but don't stop the meds for two weeks before calling him. That behavior will land your ass in assisted living, where someone will hand you the pills and watch you swallow them, and I'm not going to argue with that.
She: I know. I want to live on my own.
And that was the last we said about that. Her insurance agent is very nice, we had a pleasant lunch, it wasn't a bad visit. But damn, a day with her is exhausting. I am drained.
But after the equivalent of a long, hard work day on my first day of my tiny vacation, I am home, and Knit Kimono is here! (Google it, once again we are having mysterious Amazon linkage failure.) I love Vicki Square, her Knitter's Companion is my knitting Amex Card, I don't leave home without it. I tend to go at least six months between Kitchener stitchings, so her beautifully clear directions are vital to my sock knitting skills. She's the Queen of Folk Patterns, and this book doesn't disappoint, it's so cool. I would not say that these are things you'd wear to the office, or the supermarket, unless you are Very Dramatic, but they would be incredibly cool for curling up with a cup of hot beverage (or wine) and watching the moon rise on a chilly evening, or for pulling off a dog patrol dawn walk with extreme style. This is not to say that they are "weird" at all, just that offices and restaurants and carrying a bag over your shoulder and sweeping sleeves are generally incompatible. Wearing one of these to the office would be like wearing a shawl while standing at the copier - you COULD do it, but why, when there are sleeker and smaller things that won't get in the way when it jams and everybody starts swearing and crawling on the floor, and you are treated to the sight of 3 managers, two of them chubby males, on the floor with their asses in the air looking like they are praying to the copier while trying to find the jam? Or is that just my office? I digress again....
But I love this book. I want to make Reeds and Grasses for myself. I love Komon, it is actually office friendly (and the one on the cover), and I could see Cousin C sweeping around MD in Haori with Crests. But, obviously, these are not small yardage projects, it's the equivalent of making an afghan for someone, so I think I'll be subtle about this and bring the book to her house next time I visit, let her thumb through it and see if she squeals over a particular design. If I say I'd like to make it for her she will of course insist she doesn't need it. Nobody needs a knitted kimono. That's not the point. But you do have to love the design, or that's a lot of yarn down the drain.
Nobody needs most of the things knitters knit. That's not why we do it.