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I am back from Connecticut. It was less bad than I had feared. Husband's mother was not snide or unkind this time.

She does never stop talking however-- and I have a hard time with that. She also has a sort of direct self-praise which I find hard to take. She is habitually boastful. She likes to talk about how she is right, and other people are wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

She has accused me in the past of being 'snooty.' She has  pointed out helpfully that that is why most people don't like me.

She loves my husband. She tries her best to be a good mother and grandmother. She has a lot of talent at many things. She knitted me a beautiful shawl. It is warm and lovely. ( I told her years ago that I wanted to learn to knit, and she told me essentially not to bother. She said that if you could not spin your own raw wool, and knit cables you were just a public embarrassment)

MIL's house is cold and large and clean and perfect. None of the books there appear to have been read. There are no soft corners where you can get away and be quiet.

This time she was kinder. I was able to get a little time alone, away from the noise. The food was good. We had pizza. I liked it fine .In the past she has made tortiere, which I know is very fancy, but is just not my thing.  The in laws came,and their kids. They have a boy the age of my girl, and two adorable younger ones. They also have an older girl. She did not come this time.

Sister in law is very outspoken, brassy, confident. She is a hard worker. MIL likes her just fine. I like her too, but find her daunting.

I like the men better. Husband's brother is good to talk to. Sensible, rather quiet. MIL's husband is a nice old man. He has been ill in the past few years, and it has taken much of the bounce out of him.

So, it was ok. I am glad it is over.

Hazel walked through Grand Central Station like a total pro.  She was affable. She wagged her tail the whole time, and people came over to pat her. She climbed into husbands lap on the train. (eighty pounds of scrabbling dog. And their feet are so slidy,) He had trouble reading with her in his lap, but managed.

We got home last night, tired. We found our kitchen ceiling leaking this time. It had been dripping ominously when we left. It is being fixed today, but I cannot delude myself that the fix is permanent. The bathroom ceiling still leaks too. This time they are sure they found the bad pipe. They put the sheet-rock up. If it leaks they will have to take it all away down again. This is about the fifth time...

I have tried to tell them that the constant water is causing bigger problems, structural problems. They do not want to hear. Maybe this time it will be ok. I hope so.

They just left, taking ladders, and plastering equipment, and everything. Lyra was completely underfoot. But she did not fall into a bucket, or get tied up in a garbage bag. She did not escape the apartment, and get lost in the rest of the building.

So that was ok.

Now i just have to get back to a useful mindset myself.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yay! You're back! I'm glad you survived your trip and it was less bad than you feared. You have my sympathies though, I am useless at family events and I think I would have a lot of difficulty with someone like your MiL. I always have my suspicions that people who are boastful like that are actually insecure in themselves underneath all that ostentatious perfection, hence the need to put others down.

PS Lots of people round here, me included, like you fine just as you are :)

PPS My Christmas involved drinking rum and playing whist. I didn't expect that.
Dec. 26th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Rum and whist? You had a go in Nodbear's time machine! I am sure it will add a certain truthiness to your book.

As for MIL, yes. Husband says she is insecure. 'Casper Milktoast' he says. But she is not that way around me. Still, this time was better.

I work at seeing the good in her. I just wish I did not have to work so hard.
Dec. 27th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
What she said. :)

And snooty? Ha!

Get in a TARDIS and come to ours for New Year.
Dec. 26th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
They don't like you? Are they mad? Tz...
But you have a very exciting life, my dear. Halfway I was smiling about the leakage and Lyra tied up in a garbage bag (what she avoided, clever cat).
And men always tell you things like this: Everything is allright m'dear, don't worry about it... And in the end you'll pay for it, moving out or anything of that kind.

Hat off to you. Your MIL sounds awful :) Anteros is right. Most people with a perfect outer appearance are insecure inside.
You rock. Hopefully you will find some time soon to write a bit :) *crosses fingers*
Dec. 26th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
These men don't take me seriously at all. And yet, you have to be home while they make the repairs. I just hate to see them do the same work over and over. It makes them so grumpy.

I feel unsurprised now when the leak comes back. And i feel hesitant to tell them, because I am in effect saying their work was for nothing. But they will not listen so I have had to do that over and over.

Anyway, for now, we have an intact ceiling, which is very nice.

My MIL is one for the perfect outer appearance. I do not aspire to that, (and it is a good thing too.)

I know she made an effort this time. I made one too, it is a start. Things will work better if we can get along at least a little. But I think we are both totally aware that each of us wishes the other was very different.
Dec. 27th, 2012 10:29 am (UTC)
"These men don't take me seriously at all." THAT'S exactly the point! After a while you sound like a hanging record. You say the same thing over and over and over again to no avail! :)
In the end they know you are right and the work they have done WAS for nothing... *sighs* What can you do?

Do you know why they have world domination? You can't watch them all the time.

As for your MIL: she limits herself. You should pity her.
Dec. 26th, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got through Christmas and are home, though I'm sorry for your problems. And I had to smile at the thought of the dog... I hope the New Year is good for you.
Dec. 26th, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
I will remember Hazel in the train station, when I look back at this time, that and my in laws little kids, bonkers because Santa came.

I hope you have a good New Year too.
Dec. 26th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
Glad it wasn't as awful as you feared. We definitely need a meet-up soon.

Snooty? What color is the sky on her planet? You are one of the warmest, sweetest people I've ever met. More quiet than exuberant perhaps, but I find that approachable.

I am having a hard time reconciling "cold, hard, clean, perfect house" with "handspinner." All the spinners I've known have been housecluttery types!

And while I am a clumsy spinner at best -- it's fun, but I haven't practiced long enough to get the dexterity; Mrs. Thorne is giving me a look that tells me I am a soft, idle modern creature -- knitting cables ISN'T EVEN HARD. Assuming we could get around the mirror-image problem of me being left-handed -- and if I taught you garter stitch first and held the work up and you sat facing me, you'd pick it up -- I could teach you to cable in about five minutes or less. Eyelet is a little bit harder but not much; increases and decreases can be a little tricky. 1x1 rib and seed stitch ARE THE DEVIL, but mostly because of the so-boring-you-lose-track problem. Working on double pointed needles is a little troublesome. I have yet to try intarsia or stranded knitting like Fair Isle; they intimiate me.

We should absolutely get together soon and not only can we celebrate, I can give you some spare needles and yarn and you can knit a redcoat or navyboy cup cozy of your very own.
Dec. 26th, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
I would love to get together soon. And knit, too, if you like. You can teach me-- I can garter stitch a little now, but I fall down on purl, and beyond that is wilderness.

But now i can see Ma Thorne, sitting down, but reaching for her handwork, and knitting her boy a sweater, or some mittens.(Did they even wear sweaters? They must have...)

And if I knit a Navyboy cozy I can think about that. I imagine Thorne was happy to warm his hands on his cup sometimes.

I think I was feeling a little whiney today-- but I feel much better now. (Having an actual bathroom ceiling again will do that for a person!)
Dec. 27th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
The Navyboy cozy is garter stitch, except for a few rows of seed stitch at the beginning and end, which you could make garter stitch if you chose. I just wanted the textural contrast.

Purl is just sticking your working needle behind the other one instead of in front when you go to stick it into the loop. It's no big thing.

After that there are diagrams. Or YouTube tutorials which Milo likes. But I like diagrams. And I can show you what I've learned from them.

Guernsey frocks were very like sweaters, I think. And they had knitted undervests, I seem to remember. And what we'd call scarves or mufflers they called comforters and those were knitted. I am not sure when sweaters as we know them came in for the English -- a history of the Aran sweater might help? It's not something I've yet researched.

Bathroom ceilings. I know this all too well!
Dec. 27th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Did they even wear sweaters? They must have...
I'm sure they did. I posted some 19th century sailors knitting patterns here a while back if you fancy a go!
Dec. 27th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC)
I suppose a sweater for a child was not something that needed recording, to them. they did not write about their underwear either. That is why letters like the Roman guy getting his socks are so delightful.

I love the mittens pattern, and the gloomy man in his fancy hat!

This year I myself have the kind of mittens that have a top that folds back and fingerless gloves underneath. But I have only worn them once or twice-- it has been so warm, and I have been inside a lot.

I am sure that Rikibeth and the shade of Ma Thorne will have me knitting in no time. I do not aspire to hand spinning, or wool carding, or sheep tackling, or any of the pre-yarn evolutions!

Edited at 2012-12-27 02:52 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )