Offtopic Sofa Time

New arrivals, including the hello threads and the sofa.
Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
13
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

Oh, Steph...

I am so, so sorry.

*sending hugs and hugs and more hugs*

I can only imagine the whirlwind you must be going through right now. If there's anything I can do, if you need a good listener, anything, please let me know. I'm here.

xoxoxoxoooooo
word count: 49

User avatar
skftex
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:16 pm
13
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by skftex »

So sorry Steph. :( You know I'm here for you too if you need anything!
word count: 15
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

stargazer
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:02 pm
8
Location: Florida

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by stargazer »

Oh no!! I'm so sorry Steph. My thoughts are with you and your family. :cry:
word count: 15
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." ~Brian Littrell

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
13
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

Thanks, you lovely people. Just being able to come here and read/post helps. It has to be said I wasn't especially close to my father and we had seen him getting worse for a while, so it wasn't quite the shock that Mum's death was. At 300 miles distance it feels a bit unreal, though, and I am in somewhat of a limbo as my brother has told us he doesn't want family to descend on him while he is making arrangements - he is an independent type and loathed the helplessness and lack of control he experienced when my Mum died (unfortunately my sister has decided she is going to descend anyway, which I suspect won't make her too popular!).

Partly because of my brother needing respite and partly because Dad needed more care than he could get at home, Dad spent a few weeks in a nursing home recently. They seem to have left him in a chair and waited on him, not doing the physio he required. Consequently he had to be removed to hospital as soon as he returned; he could do nothing for himself, as his muscles had weakened and atrophied. Then he picked up a severe kidney infection. I think he may have had this before, as he has had persistent problems with blood in his urine, but it became much worse (I guess weeks spent sitting still hadn't helped) and after the doctors had tried to help with the strongest antibiotics they had, they had to admit defeat.

Not looking forward to the endless admin, letters and phone calls, and I am very worried about maybe having to be away from the pupils while they take important public exams; but I am pleased that my little brother is free of caring for others in time to enjoy his life a bit.
word count: 314
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
cutenebula
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:48 am
13
Location: France

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by cutenebula »

So sorry Steph... Tough times but you know we are all here for you :romance-heartbeating:
Huge hugs to you and your family
word count: 21
The waffle conspiracy...

TJ4ever
King of the Lab
Posts: 1399
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:23 am
13
Location: Germany

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by TJ4ever »

Oh Steph, I am so sorry to hear that! I wish you all the strength necessary to get past this difficult time. Thinking of you! *hugs

Love and best wishes!
word count: 30

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
13
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

You wonderful people give me strength each time I come here. Bless you.
word count: 13
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
13
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

:romance-smileyheart: and HUGS, Steph. Lots and lots.
word count: 6

User avatar
SmackyKennedy
Bug Guy
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:08 pm
11
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Contact:

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by SmackyKennedy »

Big hug to you, Stephanie, I'm very sorry! :romance-smileyheart:
word count: 9
"I live, I breathe, I let it rain on me. I sleep, I wake, I try hard not to break. I crave, I love, I've waited long enough." ~Not Pretty Enough/Kasey Chambers

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
13
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

After a visit from our vicar I was finally convinced that I was 'running on empty' and needed to take time off, so I did. Thursday and Friday. I was exhausted so it has done me a huge amount of good. But the next week is going to be frantic, because the funeral, I learn, is going to be Tuesday week. That will mean 3 days off, one for the day,a day to travel up, a day to travel back (I am certainly not attempting 2 6-hour journeys in one day, or even two - I'd see about 5 minutes of my family!!). Which is terrifying, because after half term these kids are doing internal exams and I will have substantially less time to prepare them. Nevertheless it's great to know something definite and that my brother is coping so well. Hopefully there are things I can help with. I had a suspiciously symbolic dream last night (is there any other kind?) when the roof started to leak massively and the house was crumbling around us. Hmm!
word count: 180
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
13
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

Okay, so here I am on holiday and I’ve survived. It’s been a weird few days. As usual the journey wasn’t fun, and hubby had to do it all (I don’t drive and the boys haven’t got their licences yet, not that we’ll be able to pay the insurance when they pass their tests, lol!). 300 miles doesn’t sound a lot, I know, if you happen to be in the US or Oz, but for us it is the other end of the country and frankly the roads, even the motorways, aren’t really geared for trips of that length. They don’t run in straight lines! Anyway, five and a half hour journey, no problems except for the exhausted husband, and off to see brother before checking in at our VERY basic, breakfast-not-provided, Travelodge (no prob – the beach diner favoured by my brother does a great full English). It was good to see little bro looking so much in control, quite the reverse of the sick and depressed person he collapsed into when Mum died 18 months ago. He had arranged everything – funeral, flowers, speeches, wake, everything – with minimum input from the other siblings. Admittedly my sister had been to visit once or twice but he doesn’t work at his most efficient when she’s around. She wants to sit and talk about things, which is understandable, but stops him getting on with jobs; and, to be absolutely honest, he doesn’t like the way she is eying up the furniture!

So after we had all settled, the following day we were all over bright and early to welcome my sister with her husband and 3 kids, my other brother with his (separated) wife and two of their kids, plus two of my 3 cousins. The heightened emotional state of all gave a rather volatile feel to the atmosphere and there was a hint that typical scrappy little quarrels and overreactions might kick in later on! However, at this point it was just lovely to see everyone. I was actually running round taking photos, because I just don’t know how much time may elapse before I meet up with them again – another funeral, or a wedding maybe. However, I was not impressed at first with the foul-mouthed and seemingly somewhat arrogant individual into which my eldest nephew has evolved since we last saw him a good ten or eleven years ago (he hasn’t been available at several meetings in between – he was on vacation at the time of my Mum’s funeral). I think a lot of it is probably a cover up for basic insecurity, but it stays with you when the first thing he utters after a long time apart is an obscenity! Later on, our Son no.1 actually challenged him for the way he spoke to my sister: “If I said that word to my mother she’d punch me in the face!” Which I would have. So I was very proud of him.

The crem service was very personal and celebratory, so I felt that this time there was a certain closure for both parents. We had the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria, which Dad loved, and his favourite jazzy numbers from ‘High Society’; we talked about the amazing footballer he was in the 50s and how he didn’t sign for Chelsea because football didn’t pay enough in those days!! For me all of that was relevant and important. Dad was talented and fun to be with. However I was a little more uncomfortable when there was stuff about his devotion to us and affection for my mother. I wasn’t close to my father because he didn’t encourage closeness. He was deeply self-focused, often manipulative of my mother, and, at least on the surface, critical of or indifferent to us as we grew up. I remember some terrible stand-up arguments during my teens, and the elder of my 2 brothers became a petty criminal partly because of his lack of a strong male role model. However, you have to do a send-off recalling the good things, and I did understand him a lot better as we all got older. He was always pleased to see me, too. I think as the eldest I had more attention and fondness from him. The rest arrived within 3 ½ years and that must have been a huge culture shock.

On to the celebrations, which my brother had arranged in that very beach diner where his friends had shown him such support and encouragement. The friends were all there and I did a little speech, part-me, part-brother, to express our feelings about our parents and our gratitude for how brilliant and helpful the community had been to him. They all said they were very moved. I hope so. I don’t know what he’d have done without them, with all the relatives so far away. And then in some cases alcohol took over, prompting (depending on the amount consumed) intense conversations, uninhibited singing and personality clashes. Would Foul-Mouthed Nephew be able to drive his brother and sister home later, given the quantity of drink he had consumed? Would Second-Eldest Niece ever stop making such a fuss about dirtying son no.1’s suit jacket? Who was going to take Extremely Drunk Family Friend home? Why was Youngest Nephew so quiet and withdrawn (feeling ill – 2 big public exams tomorrow)? Then later, when everyone repaired back to the house, Son no.1 welled up in maudlin tears about how he never has any contact with this side of the family! Second-Eldest Niece was crying in a totally separate place about the same thing. Both were tending to rail at their parents about it, like the fact that they never phone or IM or FB each other has anything to do with us – Son no.2 got really upset about this and berated Son no.1, sharp words were exchanged – you know the kind of thing. Fortunately we all know our family’s tendencies and that we tend to go hyper on celebratory occasions, so everything was reasonably amicable again by the time we had to part and things returned to relative sanity.

The journey home was not as uneventful as the trip out. It was a hot run and hubby got really tired, mysteriously taking not one but 2 wrong turnings, which put us behind schedule. I received 3 texts en route from my head of department about job deadlines that I’d completely forgotten about and had to be sorted urgently before I got back. Still, eventually we collapsed through the front door. There were nearly 40 work emails awaiting me, a good half of which required answering, and two essays to mark before next day. So I didn’t get to choir rehearsal as planned. I seem to have this ridiculous image of myself as Superwoman. Calm down kid, it’s been a hard week!

There will be a massive amount of admin to organise, but I do think we are over the worst of this. I’m looking forward to Little Brother having a life of his own after 20 years of taking care of my parents. I’m sure he will cope with aplomb. Many thanks again for all your words here (and TJ’s, too). They have meant a great deal to me and the family.
word count: 1256
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
13
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

First of all, HUGS to Steph!

I've been thinking about you often, and I'm glad you were able to post here to let us know how you're doing. It sounds like an exhausting time (as these types of things must always be, SO draining), but with some good moments, especially for your brother. That's a relief.

No matter what, I send you lots of love and support as you make your way through it. :romance-smileyheart:

As for me...

Where the hell have I been for the past 2 months?

I know, I know! I had plans to write more often, I've even been watching Bones more often this semester, but there's only so much you can do when you're taking 3 classes and in trying to balance it all and get your homework done, your brain starts oozing out of your ears.

MESSY. :icon-eek: :icon-mrgreen:

And does not make for coherent posts about anything. Not when all you want to do is tear your hair out and scream, "How did I ever think this was a good idea, going back to school? How did I do all this without losing my mind when I was 20?!?"

However...

I made it through! With 3 A's for my efforts! And I shouldn't have to take 3 classes at once ever again.

(Whew. I mean, don't get me wrong, they were interesting classes, but it's tough to get it all done and have any semblance of a life, is what I'm saying.)

The main point is, now that my brain isn't melting out of my ears, I can return to this place and write more frequently and thoroughly. For whatever it's worth. :D

Hope you all are feeling well this day!
word count: 298

kayleigh_marie
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm
11
Location: NY, US

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by kayleigh_marie »

HEY EVERYBODY!
Holy cow, it's been a long time. I've been trying to get in to my account for months... And I finally got in, thanks to Sharon! :eusa-dance:

I really missed it here..
And I'm going to go back a couple pages and read up on everyone's lives over the past few months.

But, BIG HUGS to Steph. I hope everything is getting better for you, hon.
And your brother.
I'm so sorry that your father passed.
Much love :romance-smileyheart:


As for me? I work in a Hobby Lobby, and am the head of my own department.
Things are actually looking up in that department, pardon the pun. :-P
Things with John are still great, and I'm living with my dad at the moment.
As far as everything else, it's been tough. My grandmother's cancer is getting worse and worse, the only medicine that was shrinking the tumors puts her in more pain than she can handle. So she can't take them.
And all I've been thinking about are my other grandmothers (my biological ones) and how they died.
Life's been a tad depressing as of late.
But I suppose I'll just have to muddle through, yeah?
And I have all you lovely ladies (and gentlemen, if more have joined, or if Jude is here again lol) to keep me company, and keep me distracted.

Maybe I'll actually start watching this last season of Bones... haha
word count: 249
Aha! Unidentified particulates. The two sweetest words I know.

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
13
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

Kayleigh, I'm so sorry about your grandmother. How awful. I hope they can help her or at least ease her pain somehow. I helped take care of my grandma a few years ago before she passed away, and it was not easy, both emotionally and physically draining. So I hope you are taking care of yourself too, even as you're there to lend support to your family. *HUGS* to you!

On the upside, I'm glad to hear that things are going well with John and job-wise. Congratulations on being head of your department! Hobby Lobby is such a fun place -- lots to explore! :D If I may ask, are you part of a crafting department, or framing, or decorating, or...? A friend of mine from school works at a similar type of place, and she used to do all sorts of things, but her favorite was when they would ask her to teach a how-to class.

I have some good news. Last week I interviewed for a summer internship and today I just found out that I got the job!! :eusa-dance: So exciting! It will be hard work, but I'm thrilled because 1) it will be something I can add to my portfolio of work and 2) it meets a requirement as part of the web design program so after this summer I'll only have 1 class left to take and I'll be done!

Anyway, I'll be designing a web site for a small nonprofit organization -- they want to provide nutrition education and affordable fitness opportunities for women who are currently low-income and need the help and the emotional and physical boost. As someone who has struggled with her weight and her body image, I can certainly support that! :D So, after we iron things out with the career department and my advisor at school, that's what I'll be working on this summer!

How's everyone else doing today? And -- for those in the U.S. -- did you have a good Memorial Weekend?
word count: 344
I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating [& sharing their experience]. I don't care if it's a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music… I think this world would be unlivable without art. ~ S. Soderbergh

kayleigh_marie
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm
11
Location: NY, US

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by kayleigh_marie »

Thank you. It's hard. Watching both of my grandmothers die was hard...
It's helped me cope better, I suppose?

CONGRATULATIONS! C:
That's fantastic. I hope you enjoy it :eusa-dance:
It sounds like some fun! You'll have to post a link to it when you've finished it :)

My memorial day weekend was pretty good, didn't do a whole lot. Spent time with John. And worked.
I'm head of the Jewelry making department. So I'm getting into making jewelry. (:
word count: 86
Aha! Unidentified particulates. The two sweetest words I know.

User avatar
cutenebula
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:48 am
13
Location: France

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by cutenebula »

:romance-smileyheart: Hey welcome back Kayleigh and Sherry :-)
So glad to know both of you will have more time to post! ^_^

Kayleigh I'm really sorry for your grandmother. Nothing we can do but send you virtual hugs and mind support.
Thinking about Steph and you, and wish we could have a real :romance-grouphug:

Besides, congratulations for the jobs ladies!!! :eusa-clap: :eusa-dance:

Well, I'm here because I can't do much thing today... :icon-mrgreen: Actually, I've been to my dentist to have 2 teeth extracted this morning and as you can imagine... :tools-hammer: :tools-hammerdrill: this is it. It hurts... And I can't paint or draw today :-?
Not mentionning how sexy I look with my hamster's face (double sized cheek is so cool...)

Soooo... I will spend my day with ice on my face, taking painkillers and be here ^_^

Oh and right now my paintings are hanged in a nursing house :-) The exhibition was supposed to be earlier but the lady I met last year retired and the one I contacted this year didn't know it was schedulled...
So it will be whole June :-)
It's for free and I'm so honored because everyone love my work :romance-heartstiny: Some people asked if they could buy some paintings so we'll see :-) My favorite time? I've already said it, but seeing people touch my trompe l'oeil to be sure it's flat really makes me happy :-D
I've been contacted for another exhibition this Automn. Pretty cool :-)

:happy-sunny: Don't know about you worldwide but here May is more like November... Grey sky, rain, cold weather, etc.

Ok; talk to you all very soon!!! :romance-smileyheart:

:happy-smileyflower: Véro
word count: 276
The waffle conspiracy...

kayleigh_marie
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:46 pm
11
Location: NY, US

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by kayleigh_marie »

Aww, Vero! come to New York. It's like... 85 degrees and sunny today!
Along with every other day. It's hot. I don't like summer. We can switch every year. You come here, and I'll come back during Autumn here.

I'm sorry about your teeth!
I have a couple impacted wisdom teeth, and two that grew in at a 45 degree angle. They all need to come out, but I don't have the insurance to have the procedure.
Though I do not envy the pain! Or looking like a hamster :P
Haha sorry.

I can't believe your art is going to be on display!! That's amazing!
Though, I suppose, I do believe it. Your work, from what I've seen, is amazing. So congratulations, Vero!
word count: 131
Aha! Unidentified particulates. The two sweetest words I know.

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
13
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by ThyneAlone »

Well, where in the heck do I begin with all that?!
Um. OK.
Kayleigh, it's super to see you again. Sharon had mentioned you were having trouble with your account, and I for one have missed you big time. I am so pleased your job and relationship are going so well, but sympathise deeply with the stress that you are going through on account of your poor grandmother. I'm sending you and her my thoughts, hugs and prayers.

Véro! So sorry about your teeth! Hope the pain has subsided. However, I am absolutely delighted about the success you're having with your art. It's well-deserved - your paintings are superb. Last night hubby and I ate in the oldest pub in Warwick, the beautiful walls of which are festooned with excellent trompe-l'oeil work. And all I could think was "Véro's are better." May your good fortune continue!

Sherry, I know you have been rushed off your feet, and I have missed you. I hope I can get on here for a nice long chat in the near future. And your job! Many congratulations! It sounds tailor-made for you. I shall expect frequent news when you start. You must be very glad to have all that hard grind behind you at last. So pleased for you.

My other half and I have spent the last 4 days variously in Worcester, Pershore and Warwick. All these places have the museums, abbeys/cathedrals, old churches, old pubs and traditional tea shops that we love, not to mention book shops and antique centres in profusion. My feet are walked off, but we have had a fantastic time just chilling together – and plenty of good food neither of us has had to cook. Mind you, I wish we had had some of your weather, Kayleigh. Our first couple of days were miserably wet and cold. However, yesterday, when we spent several hours at stunning Warwick Castle, the sun blazed down and it was a great day. The trip home (about 3 hours) has been gorgeous as well, warm and sunny with a glorious blue sky and trees and vegetation forty shades of green…it looks amazing. From what I hear my brother is still coping well too, so I don’t feel bad about having been away. Of course, it’s back to the grind on Monday. But still.
word count: 403
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

User avatar
cutenebula
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:48 am
13
Location: France

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by cutenebula »

Aaaaw Thank you so much Steph!!! ^_^

Well some news, about almost everything in my life:

Teeth: much better now :-) Though I'm still having some troubles recovering. I'm way too tired but I guess it's normal.

Bad news: I've lost my beloved dog Arthur. I'm trying not to think too much about his death, but keep in mind the good moments and what a happy friend he was. It helps a lot.

Good news: son n°1 Has a job!!! Woohoo!!! He left the house today and will have a 3 months contract at first. Now he is with his grandparents at 400km from home ^_^ Very proud of him :)

Maybe good news: I have been contacted for a huge painting project with other painters, far from home. Will contact the company tomorrow and hope to give you good news. I can't say if they will keep me on the project as many painters have been contacted...
So, fingers crossed :P

Oh, and painting good news: I have some commisionned work to do ;-)
One asked long ago will be done very soon ;)
and 3 asked during my actual exhibition :) Cool!

And now, I'm trying to have my son n°2 in a new school because he has a great project and as he was pretty bad at school by the past, it's a real fight to have him accepted somewhere :\ Fingers crossed! (mmm... ok left hand still available, that's ok...)
Papers and papers and papers to do... :P

And right now, I have to go and try to fix something under my bathtub because I have water on the floor now...

:happy-smileyflower:
word count: 276
The waffle conspiracy...

TJ4ever
King of the Lab
Posts: 1399
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:23 am
13
Location: Germany

Re: Offtopic Sofa Time

Post by TJ4ever »

Congrats, Sherry! :text-woo:

Sorry about your dog, Véro. ...and *fingers crossed* that you gonna get this painting job!
word count: 18
Angela: Well, what about love? What do you have to say about love?
Hodgins: It´s overrated-most of the time :-)


Dexter: They make it look so easy-connecting with another human being. It's like no one told them it's the hardest thing in the world.