pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
Me, to Fiona : “So, IF I started thinking about dating again, what sort of guy do you think—“
Fiona (adamantly): “No.”
Me: “No, really, I just wondered—“
Fiona: “No. I’m not going there.”
Me: “Fiona, this is purely theoretical. You’re a mathematician, right? You can deal with the theoretical. Think of it like, um, pairing numbers.”
Fiona: “I happen to dislike even numbers.”

At which point, I cracked up and abandoned the conversation. No dating advice will be forthcoming from my daughter. (And it’s really true. She likes odd numbers better than even numbers. She likes prime numbers best of all, bless her nerdy heart.)

In other news, I donated 460 books to the Friends of the Library yesterday. They were mystery hardbacks, a genre I hardly ever read (except for a few selected authors). Many of them Rob BOUGHT at the Friends of the Library book sales over the years (he would go at the end of the day and bring home grocery bags full of books that he'd gotten for $1 each--uncaring of my shrill complaints: "Where are we going to PUT them all?") I hope to consolidate three of the remaining bookcases into the open shelves, which would allow me to remove bookcases that are sitting in the archway between my living room and my dining room. Then I can go shopping for new furniture.

Rob loved his books so, so much, and I did, too, but the number that he collected was excessive. It is incredibly painful to get rid of some. And hopeful. I sent the Snapchat below to the girls, and Delia called me up to console me and tell me that she was proud of me. And I am, and yet...ugh. I slept badly last night.

bookcase
pegkerr: (Rob's last)
This is such a typical picture of Rob: He's sitting at our dining room table reading something, with a daughter on his lap.


A girl sits on a man's lap at a table. Both are looking at a card the man holds.

Specifically, it's Father's Day ten years ago: June 15, 2008. So it's a Father's Day card he's reading, and he's proudly wearing a shirt that the girls colored for him with fabric markers. The shirt reads "Dads Make the World Go Round."

Of course, he kept the shirt. He wore it often. Of course, I still have it, frayed around the collar.

A t-shirt on a bed. The lettering reads "Dads Make the World Go Round."

Today is Father's Day, ten years later.

I think of the shirts you see sometimes for sale at resorts: "My Dad [or my parents] went to ______ and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

My children's father is gone. Not to Vegas, not to Harry Potter's World at Universal Studios, not to New York City.

He's just gone.

And all I have (apologies to the girls, who so lovingly colored it) is this lousy t-shirt.
pegkerr: (Rob's last)
...as she stood before the canvas on which he was represented, and fixed his eyes upon herself,
she thought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raised before;
she remembered its warmth, and softened its impropriety of expression.

--Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


I realize that I never posted the last pictures we took for our family portrait. They were taken by a friend of the family and professional photographer, John Walsh, the night before Thanksgiving, November 2017. We had no way of knowing, but that was the very last night that Rob slept in his own bed. I took him to the Emergency Room the next day, Thanksgiving Day, for fever, and he was admitted that day. He never saw his home again. Many of you saw these pictures on our Christmas card.


















The shoot was wonderful, and you can see what a happy, laughing time we had...but I knew in my heart what was coming. When Rob's individual portrait appeared on the photographer's monitor, I immediately burst into tears. I managed to choke out that it was because I so moved by it. Indeed, I loved it--but that wasn't it.

I was crying because I instantly knew it was going to be his obituary picture. And I was right.



Today, I thought of this treasured picture of Rob as I was listening to this song, from Austen's Pride, A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice. (Listen to this song here. The lyrics here are from the first minute and forty seconds. Listen to the whole thing: it's gorgeous.)

Who are you?
I thought I knew
The man in the portrait
You appear and seem to be
All the things that I refused to see
And you said you loved me.

Who are you?
Is it true
The man in the portrait
Is thoughtful and good?
If I knew then
What I know now
I might have understood
But that was then
Now I’m face to face
With you, the man in the portrait
In your gaze, I can see
The way you used to smile at me
And it says, you loved me.


I was open with the fact, I think, that Rob and I had our struggles, as happens of course in any marriage. It was very difficult particularly through the years of unemployment. But my respect for him grew so much as I watched him battle cancer, and somehow, this photograph captured something about him and made it visible for all: his nobility, and his suffering, and the love that shone out of him. The lines I've bolded above say it well. I told the photographer that I will treasure this photo for the rest of my life.

I cried a lot today.

photo credit John Walsh
pegkerr: (Default)
Snapchat just received. At first I couldn't figure out WHAT was on her head. And then I realized: it's probably the only candle in her apartment. Love and lussekatter to you all.

IMG_2179.PNG

Edited to add: This was my reply:

IMG_2182.PNG
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 37: Curse
The campaign is having some difficulties.

Week 37 Curse.jpg

This card is about how the fanart contest I had planned for EverTwixt ran into some problems. The day the contest was launched, Kelly (the owner of EverTwixt) fell down the stairs, resulting in a concussion and broken arm. An inauspicious start. We decided it was due to the malign influence of Baba Yaga, the nemesis of the stories on the website. We also determined that the contest had to be rejiggered, because we weren't getting the response to the ads that we'd hoped.

Week 38: Redesign
I spent the week redesigning the contest, hoping to still find our mystery artist out there somewhere.

Week 38 Redesign.jpg

This card represents both the fact that I redesigned the particulars of the contest, since Kelly was unavailable (landing pages, email automation), and the silhouette also represents that mysterious artist we still hoped to find.

Week 39: Certification
I took the test and finished the Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing course.

Week 39 Certification.jpg

The Inbound Marketing course is built on the four stages of inbound marketing as Hubspot sees them: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

Week 40: Treats
I begin designing the website for Barking Good Healthy Treats.

Week 40 Treats.jpg

Week 41: Girls
Meals with my girls mean love.

Week 41 Girls.jpg

This combined two Snapchats: Fiona and I send this a Snapchat to Delia informing her of our brunch at Turtle Bread Bakery. Delia also sent us a Snapchat, showing the set up of her table at her new apartment in Eau Claire. The vase of peonies were the ones I brought with me when we moved Delia in.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 24: Hamilton
I have been listening to it NON-STOP!

Week 24 Hamilton

I bought the entire soundtrack for $2.00 (LEGALLY) when it was on sale for that price on Google Music. The show has its hooks in me (as it does in so many other people I know). Fiona's a fan, too, and we love to exchange tidbits of knowledge we've gained about the show, the production, the actors. She is going to GO SEE IT in June and I am so very jealous.

Week 25: Hope
I'm seeing a glimmer of light on my journey.

Week 25 Hope

This image depicts a woman on a journey (remember Week 3, Embark, the last card on this post?) who sees a lighthouse shining from shore and starts to feel a little bit of hope. This was the week I learned I had been given a grant by the Dislocated Workers Program from the State of Minnesota. I am going to be receiving training in a lot of the concepts and programs I need to have to change careers from legal administrative assistant to marketing.


Week 26: Dance
This was the week of Excellent Cancer News.

Week 26 Dance

I picked this picture from The Tutu Project, one of the amazing photographs taken by Bob Carey in support of his wife Linda Carey, who has been battling breast cancer. Yeah, okay, we're not battling breast cancer here, but it's about the spouse of someone with cancer. It's trying to bring humor and happiness to something that's often very grim. It just seemed to fit this time.

Week 27: Training
I begin to learn new things.

Week 27 Training

Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing. Landing pages. Adobe InDesign. A/B testing. Etc. Let's hope it will result in a new career direction.

Week 28: Caucus
I took Fiona, and we both did our civic duty.

Week 28 Caucus

Fiona and I were both agonizing as we walked through the door until I hit upon a simple solution: "I'll vote for Hillary. You vote for Bernie. We'd be happy to vote for either one in the general election." And that's what we did.

Week 29: Flu
Everthing is a painful, feverish blur.

Week 29 Flu

The flu hit both Rob and me HARD. Think gray mindlessness, with fever and aches lurking below.  I started on Wednesday of that week. After a week and a half, I ended up at the hospital, getting intravenous fluids. The flu shot didn't do a damn thing for me.

Week 30:  
Not today
Nothing will get accomplished today.

Week 30 Not Today

Yes, this is still a one word title. Well, a word combined with a graphic.

This card was created because I became impatient after four days of the flu. Surely I should be getting better by now? I kept fretfully listing off things to Rob that I should be doing. He lay in bed beside me, sick as I was, and replied "Not today." And when I tried to stagger out of bed and take three steps, I would fall back into bed and repeat after him, "Not today." The whole week was like that.
pegkerr: (Fiona)
This is the card I was dreaming off when I took pictures of Fiona when she was fifteen years old. I had a very vivid picture of the card in my mind, and it still isn't there quite yet, but it's a lot closer, what with all that I've been learning about software this week.

Fiona - Community Suit

Fiona - Community Card
I am the daughter always in motion, the spinner, the warrior, the dancer, the delight.

I remember when Fiona was four years old vividly. She was always spinning. I wrote, once, about a walk I took with the two girls around the block. Delia (barely two) lurched gravely along, diaper creaking, occasionally stopping to crouch to examine a bug, a stone, a leaf. And then she would be up and moving again, pacing herself as if she were taking a ten mile walk.

Fiona flittered in and around us, dancing around us, spinning joyfully, peppering us with exclamations and questions: "Isn't the sky blue! I can't wait until I can go swimming. I need a new bathing suit. Can we have spaghetti for dinner? How long until Daddy comes home?"

Later, the girls started karate, and that spinning girl always remained in the back of my head. This gets a little closer to what I had in mind.

As I said, the pictures were taken seven years ago. I imagine I will make cards of the girls through their lifetimes, as they discover new stages of themselves.

What do you think? Not quite what I'd envisioned (the spinning figures were meant to be more transparent/translucent) but I like it. At the very least, it is a relief to get out of my head and onto paper an image that has been knocking around in my head for years.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have many reasons to be grateful. One is that these two beautiful girls are home from college for the weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving from our household to yours.

Fiona and Delia Thanksgiving November 26 2015
pegkerr: (Default)
From Fiona's Tumblr:

Me: *sees a female character doing something terrifying and badass*

Me: *deep breath*

Me: *delighted pterodactyl screech*

She really does this. Screeches like a pterodactyl, often as a commentary on something. I don't know how it is I know how a pterodactyl sounds, but she nails it. It's her sound.

It's absolutely adorable.
pegkerr: (Default)
One thing I want to be really intentional about as I go through this new period of self-examination is self-care.

Going to the Renaissance Faire is self-care. Really. Fiona and I have adored going for years.

We took along one of Fiona's roommates, Becca. I didn't pull out my camera very much because I was enjoying myself so hugely, but here are the pictures I took.

The first thing I did when we arrived was to head straight for Felix Needleworthy's shop to buy a new bodice. I had donned my old one, but oh my goodness, I have gained enough weight since I purchased it that I could barely breathe. I felt SO much better with the new one on.

Still, it was a very hot and humid day. I hovered on the edge of heat stroke on a couple of occasions and had to really push water. I bought a Battenburg lace parasol, too, which is a lovely confection which turned out to be very useful, and which I will enjoy owning.

I have been looking for a hat to wear with my costume for several years. There is a new shop called Blond Swan with absolutely ravishing hats, and I tried one on that was (for the first time) absolutely lovely, and oh, I wanted it. The price tag was ghastly, however, and after buying the bodice (and with Fiona's wise advice) I decided to forgo it. I found the cap I wear in the picture for a MUCH more reasonable price, $20. I wanted a feather to trim it with, however. Fiona found the blue and white feathers she used to trim her beloved pirate hat at the Blond Swan. I went back there and considered a pin with a frivolous bunch of feathers, but again, the price was higher than I'd liked, and the size a little big in proportion for the cap. Later, I found a perfect feather with a pin at another booth for a mere $5, so I could feel smug about saving money--rather ridiculous, I suppose, after buying the bodice and the parasol!


September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

These three pictures are a little repetitive, but I don't care; I include them all because I adore Fiona's gamine looks in all of them.

September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

Here was a lovely moment when Becca and Fiona stopped to admire a booth selling hand-drawn maps of various fantasy worlds.

Fiona and Becca September 5 2015

Oh, it was fun. Fiona and Becca were lovely about spending the day with me, despite the fact that I was drooping quite a bit at the end of the day from the heat and had to take Fiona's arm as we walked around.

I came home tired, sunburnt, and extremely happy. Also newly determined to lose weight. The new bodice is beautiful, but dammit, I should be fitting into the old one. I went on a 3.75 mile walk today, and intend to do something to exercise every day.
pegkerr: (Default)
"That’s where my comb went,"

said Fiona as she dug through The Unfinished Tales of Numenor.
pegkerr: (Default)
Fiona was over last night to make the Lussekatter! We also put up our new (artificial) Christmas tree, which looks lovely.

IMG_0881_2

Lussekatter and cocoa for breakfast. Mmm....
pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
•Called insurer with a question about coverage
•Called a medical provider for Fiona and argued with them about a bill
•Texted both girls inquiring about insurance coverage they have through their colleges.
•Ordered microwave cart
•Attempted to order kitchen island (back-ordered till end of the month) and had myself put on list to be notified when they are back in
•Researched duct cleaning companies
•Asked [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer to check out their reviews on Angie's list
•Using the information [livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer gave me, contacted three duct cleaning companies and lined up an appointment with one to come out and clean the ducts Thursday
•Emailed my mom to ask her to research best buys on electric blankets
•Arranged to get work off Thursday, arranged for helpers Wednesday night and Thursday morning to pull boxes, etc., away from ducts for Thursday afternoon appointment
•Received and reviewed updated kitchen bid from contractor, sent reply email
•The stair rails outside our house have been installed! Spoke with the contractor about arranging to get him a check tomorrow
•Dashed home for five minute consult with kitchen contractor, took pictures of stair rails to send to family, picked up a coupon
•Went to therapy appointment. Delivered note from Rob to another medical provider.
•Grabbed a quick dinner on the road
•Drove to hospital where I visited with Rob and friends Scott and Dana
•Reviewed information Mom sent about electric blankets
•Contacted both girls to ask what color blankets they would like
•With Rob, ordered electric blankets for family online (more than 50% off!)
•Briefly discussed kitchen bid with Rob and got check from him to give to kitchen contractor tomorrow
•Took a few items home for Rob
•Home at 9:30 p.m. Briefly considered balancing my checkbook and decided Nah. I've done enough today.
pegkerr: (Holy Tree Haiti)
I purchased a futon today to go into my former office/Fiona's former bedroom/hopefully my office again someday as well as a guest bedroom.

As you can see, it has the Fiona Seal of Approval. It's on the smallish side, which makes it perfect for this space, and it just feels cozy to me. The back isn't too tall so it won't cover up the built in bookcase on the wall where I am going to place it.

Futon with Fiona Seal of Approval 11/4/14

Not in that fabric, though. There weren't many choices for this model, but here was one that did make me think, glancingly, of trees, so this is the fabric I picked.

Fabric for Futon 11/4/14

It will be ready to be picked up in about 10 days. So I will have guest sleeping quarters for out of town caregivers. Or at least one out of town caregiver at a time. Phew.
pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
Chemo, Regime 4, Round 2. Fiona swung by after her first day of classes to keep him company (and watch Alias with him on his laptop.

He'll be in the hospital until Thursday.

Hospital chemo visit - 9/2/14

Read more at his CaringBridge here.
pegkerr: (Default)
It was bloody hot, and I was exhausted by the time we got home, but it was still a wonderful time, as always.

Here are a couple of pics of the way we looked when we started the day. I had a new chemise by the time we got home, as my old one was about fifteen years old and the elastic was completely out of shape. In the selfie, you get an idea of Fiona's new haircut.

Peg and Fiona Ren Fest 2014

Fiona pirate Insouciant Ren Fest 2014
pegkerr: (Default)
She slept in her new apartment last night and is back over here today, packing up a few more things. We have broken down the bed, because she is taking it with her.

(She has the cutest new haircut, a pixie hair cut which suits her gamine features beautifully. I asked to be allowed to post a picture, but she said, "Later, when I am not hot and sweaty and gross.")

She said that she and her roommates are well-stocked on kitchen things: "We have a popcorn popper. We have pots and pans. We have a slow cooker. We have a rice cooker. We have a waffle maker. We are real goddamn adults."

She has been going through her books, trying to decide what to take and what to cull. She took all her dearly beloved fantasy and fairytale books. I told her that we would be willing to store any she wants to keep that she doesn't want now but thinks she would want her own kids to read some day. I have given her my most treasured fairy tale book to take with her, Lona on the condition that she never ever sell it, that she keep it for her own child, or someone worthy, and that she hand it down to someone else only on the condition that they never sell it, but hand it to someone worthy. "Hand to God, I promise," she said. She knows how important it is. "And you also have visitation rights anytime you want to read it again."

This is really happening. My daughter is moving out.

May Day

May. 8th, 2014 07:14 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
May Day, after several yucky years in a row, was beautiful and magical and just what I needed. Fiona and I went and basked in the sun and admired the puppets, the dancers, the stiltwalkers, and human-powered floats. I love that all sorts of people, all ages, all ability levels, participate. Then we went and joined the Minn-Stf picnic and ate grilled hotdogs and cheered from the sidelines as the Sun crossed over the pond and brought the Tree of Life back for the spring (I took pictures of that part, too, but my ipod touch camera couldn't handle the focus at such a distance, so those all got deleted. Oh, well. Just click on my 'May Day' tag and you can go back and see my pictures from other years.

Given what's going on right now, I just don't have the energy to do a full report. But I am stuffing a bunch of my favorite images behind the cut. Warning: graphic intensive. I may sprinkle a comment here or there if I have time later. But what I mostly want to say is that I loved the Pete Seeger puppet, I loved (as always) the marching band that lies down in the middle of the street. I love May Day.

I need its magic this year more desperately than ever.

Many, many pictures behind the cut )

Fiona and I came back home exhausted and with dreadful sunburns. But happy.
pegkerr: (Default)
A post surgical Rob tutors Fiona in math for her Sequences and Series math test today. She was quite worried about it.

Rob Tutors Fiona

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