Abbey normal maladies

November 6, 2006 at 3:50 pm | Posted in country living, faith, family, free knitting patterns, humor, Knit Alongs, knit-a-long, knitting, love, yarn | 16 Comments

Fireflys Mystery Knitting Project  Nears CompletionOne of my favorite movies is Young Frankenstein by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks; we watched it on Halloween evening cuddling on the sofa enjoying popcorn and hot mulled cider. For me one of the funniest scenes is when Gene Wilder’s Dr. Frankenstein character is grilling Marty Feldman’s Igor about the brain he had fetched from the “Brand Depository” for the monster. Igor had previously dropped and smashed the correct, smart guy brain and had to grab one labelled “Abnormal” as a replacement. He told Dr. Frankenstein the replacement brain was from an “Abbey something”. When quizzed further he said, “Abbey, Abbey Normal.” Very funny.

Before I continue with the story of How I Met My Husband, I will share another photo of progress on the Mystery Project … nearly done now. Notice the buttons? This weekend I was gifted with more vintage buttons from another lady from our church. She heard I had a thing for buttons and that I recently paid $1 each for three vintage buttons at a local yarn store. Horrified by my folly, she brought two bags stuffed with canisters, jars, a couple of bags, and a box all brimming with buttons of every variety imaginable. Most are vintage, some are antique; all are dear to me. Her name is Winnie. She is a tiny little powerhouse about four feet tall who weighs maybe ninety pounds or something, somewhere in her mid-eighties, I believe.

She recently had open-heart surgery and yet she is full of vim, vigor, and character. She is loving and strong willed … someone you do not mess with and yet she has the sweetest smile you could hope to have shinning in your direction. She shows up at every church function and fundraiser, working as hard as anyone does and is usually one of the last to leave. She even takes home the dishrags and towels from the church kitchen to wash, dry, and fold.

She is moving away to be closer to her daughters who live more toward the Eastern part of New York, north of NYC. She will be sorely missed … it is difficult to imagine the church without her presence, but I am happy for her because she seems to be very excited about the adventure she is embarking on.

Between what she gave me and what Dorothy gave me previously, I believe I now own 5,682,342.845 buttons. It will be fun to sort through them over time.

Firefly Knits Demo 1Yesterday my husband helped me with some photography: close-up shots of me demonstrating some of the finer points of the stitch pattern I am using in the Mystery Project. I want to do more knitting demonstration shots and videos, and the shots he took yesterday came out great. I am posting a couple today, without any explanations … just to show you the quality of the work he did.

I have updated information for the Jinny’s Vines Nap Blanket knit along in case you are following that. The updates are posted at the bottom of the knit along project page, so scroll down to find them.

How did I meet my husband, anyway?

Through a series of little miracles.

For many years, I have had a strange malady regarding men. I love them as friends, and have had many wonderful and rewarding friendships and associations with wonderful men in my family, in business, in volunteer work, etc. That was all cool, and I had no problems there.

However, give me a clue a man was “interested” in me, and I most likely would get nervous and run quickly in the opposite direction.

If I didn’t escape, I would get a nervous upset stomach and would literally feel as if I was going to hurl. It was a great compliment if a man didn’t make me feel as if I was going to hurl … but it didn’t sound very pretty.

The day my friend from high school proposed to me I was seriously nervous and upset and yet I was sort of trapped because I had agreed to spend the day with him and his father. We were going to see his mother at the nursing home, and hang out for dinner and a movie. There was serious danger of hurling the entire time. It was a rough, rough day.

Firefly Knits Demo 1 EThough I turned him down, we continued to meet every other week for dinner or lunch, to stay friends. That’s what it was for me, but not for him. At Christmas he gave me a package and asked me to wait to open it on Christmas day with my family. That made me nervous. He also asked that I hand-deliver Christmas cards to my parents, daughter, and son to be opened on Christmas day. That freaked me out a bit … he had never met anyone in my family and I had no idea what was in the cards.

I was very worried about what surprise might be awaiting my family and me on Christmas Day, so I opened my gift before I flew to Denver … a necklace matching the engagement ring he had given me. That didn’t seem like a good sign. When my parents opened their Christmas card, there was a declaration of love about me … oh boy. I knew when I got back to Los Angeles I would have to have a serious talk with him.

Just after Christmas, I took off on my adventure driving from Denver to a little town in eastern Nebraska to meet the Internet Viking. While I was driving there, I started having a strange itch on my neck, under a hand knit scarf my daughter had make me. I thought perhaps something had gotten on the scarf and was aggravating my skin.

The itch eventually went away, but as I was driving back to Denver it came back and started to spread. As I was flying home after New Year’s to California, it became a rash and moved down my neck to my collarbone. I was going to have dinner with the high school fellow a few days after I got back to Los Angeles, and the closer that date came, the worse my rash became.

The dinner night came, and I found myself sitting nervously at a restaurant waiting for my high school friend to show up, not knowing what the conversation would result in. I honestly did not want to hurt him, but I knew I had to be firm. I also felt very bad because I had met someone inadvertently, and I didn’t know if I should tell him that or not.

Woe was me, yet again.

I did finally tell him, and I think I handled it pretty well. I told him I appreciated the Christmas gift, but that it seemed inappropriate because it was a romantic gift and I was concerned he and I were thinking of our friendship in different ways. He admitted that he did hold out the hope I would someday change my mind, but he said he felt he could deal with it if that didn’t happen. Then he asked me out for Valentine’s Day … and I realized my efforts to dissuade him were fruitless.

Firefly Knits Demo 1 DMeanwhile, the Viking was in and out of communication with me and I was vascilating between being troubled and feeling happy about him. However, as I said in Friday’s post, I reinstated my membership in the online dating site for rural people, small town folks, farmers, and ranchers. The first time I had joined, I was contacted by about forty-five to fifty men … a number that surprised me very much. They were, for the most part, very gentlemanly men mostly in my age range who honestly wanted someone to share life with and most were men with their own farm or ranch and were stable, if lonely, in their lives.

When I rejoined in mid to late-January, again I started receiving plenty of “flirts” and emails from men, but the new crop was even more enticing than the first. I believe it was because I was so direct in my second profile about exactly who I am what I was looking for. I didn’t hold back, in spite of my normal nervousness about men and dating. The new men contacting me were, many of them, intelligent and capable. They seemed to be endeavoring very sincerely to show the best of themselves to me through their writing, because of my own writing, plus the fact I said in my profile I am a professional writer by trade. They were beautiful men, I felt, putting their hearts and souls out there so sincerely.

I actually did the re-posting in an attempt to give the Viking a clearer picture of who I was and what my intentions were, because I thought maybe he had misunderstood me from my initial posting where I said I was only looking for friendship (and in fact that was true at the time).

As January waned and February approached, I started having more and more Viking troubles and my rash persisted. Embarrassingly enough, it settled in my cleavage area. How perfect was that?

Before heading off to a doctor to see what was up with that, I looked online to see if I could find a reference to the kind of rash I was having and I found a website that had every kind of rash you could imagine, descriptions and photos and some information about what brought them on.

The one that seemed to match up with mine was hives. The reference stated that hives could be brought on by anxiety. I thought, “Well, the rash looks right but I don’t have anxiety. I’m not anxious about anything.” Then I realized the one thing that did make me nervous was men. I looked down at the now strategically located rash and said to myself, “Oh my gosh … I’ve got Man Hives!” I realized I was making the situation worse by inviting even more men to contact me and by getting into email conversations with so many, many men.

It was too funny to keep to myself. I told a good friend about my rash and we both got a good laugh out of it. While at my sister’s for dinner one night, I told her, her husband, my niece, and her husband about my ridiculous hives. All night we made jokes about Man Hives. My favorite was me pretending to be interviewed by Oprah about online dating advice, and confessing finally while ripping open my shirt, “Oprah … I’ve got hives … Man Hives,” (with a southern accent to make it funnier).

Laughter is good therapy for Man Hives as it turns out. The more I told people about Man Hives and what had brought them on, the more I realized none of it was serious, and as I laughed about it more and more the hives started fading.

Meanwhile, the “flirts” and emails from the online dating site kept coming in. In all, about ninety men contacted me between mid-November to late-January.

And then, on January 29th I received an email that cut through the crowd.

Hmm … I was sure I was supposed to stay focused on that dang Viking and fix his problem with communication and live happily ever after with him. After all, even though he was almost completely out of communication by then, we had shared such a seemingly sweet connection.

What the heck was up with this new email and why was I feeling curious about the man who had just written to me?

Meet me back here on Wednesday to hear more? I hope so.

We have sunshine and somewhat “warmer” weather today than we have had recently. Hope you are having the weather you enjoy most, wherever you are.

Until Wednesday,

Note: This story continues here.

~firefly

Copyright © 2006 J.L. Fleckenstein ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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16 Comments »

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  1. One of our favorite movies too! I likes Cloris Leachman’s character & how every time her name was spoken all the animals would yell hysterically 😀
    I’m hanging onto every word and look forward to Wednesday for more of your story and perhaps to figure out what you’re making there. The stitches are lovely and the buttons look like they’d be fun to play with! Have a great day! See ya Wednesday!

  2. […] This story continues here. […]

  3. Love the pictures, very clear. I felt that, even though I have NO clue about knitting, I could probably follow them given some written word in caption form.

    Love the story today too….man hives, what a hoot!! Not sure if I can wait for Wednesday’s installment. 🙂

  4. man hives! that’s great. 🙂 at least you were able to overcome them. I can’t believe you now own 5 million plus buttons. my fiance would be jealous. He, too, is a button lover. It’s looking good this mystery project…

  5. Oh good heavens, I think we must be twins separated at birth! I quote that same line in the movie quite a bit…the older I get, the funnier the line gets, and the fewer people who actually get the joke!

    Can’t wait to see the completed Mystery Project. I am also heartened to see that you knit Continental…the age-old war, isn’t it?

  6. OK. I’m taken with your story! In hopes of connecting with the country, knitting life I long for, I found you through a Google search. And today is my 53 birthday. Being born in 53, my daughter told me it’s my “golden birthday”. So…I too, joined a farmers dating service this morning. Let’s see where it takes me! Thanks for the inspiration. I’m eager to read on…

    Warm regards, Marianne

  7. OMG! I am going to have to draw an organizational chart between engagement ring man, Viking man, and January 29th man………and now I have to wait until Wednesday!! As Flounder from Animal House said, “Oh boy…….is this gonna be great!!!” I would have commented several hours ago, but you know the whole work thing and all……….

    Wednesday! Wednesday! Wednesday!!

  8. Can’t wait to see what the mystery project is, I am really enjoying “How I met My Husband”, can’t wait till Wednesday

  9. i think i hurt myself when i heard about your man hives – i laughed so hard my step-daughter ran upstairs to see what was going on…i often quote that line from young fr-Ahnk-enstein myself…i love slapstick comedy! will be tuning in on wednesday….

  10. a great thread of story and inspiring knitting photos – a perfect blog!

  11. I’m enjoying reading your story very much – you could make a movie of this I’m sure. I’m itching to see what your mystery project is too.

  12. Man Hives, eh? I wish I had gotten those a time or two.

    Your mystery project looks beautiful and so are the pictures your husband took.

  13. man hives. snort. I know just how you feel, actually, about men. They make me nervous too. I have no idea how I ended up being so lucky as to find my boy.

    As for Young Fronk-uh-steen, one of my favoritest films ever. So many in-jokes from that thing: “Poot ze candle BACK!” and the dance routine makes me laugh just thinking about it.

  14. We have a *Winnie* at our church too. She is a very, very dear friend of mine. She’s 84 years old, 4’nothing and still going strong. Her name is Dottie and I don’t know how I would do anything new (stitching wise) without her input.

    I’m so glad you have such a great friend.

  15. Oh my… I didn’t realise I wasn’t the only female feeling like that around men. I adore them as friends and so on, but as soon as there is one that might be a bit more than that and run in the opposite direction, mostly straight to a bathroom because I think I’m going to hurl… There… I’ve said it…it is the first time in my life I’ve actually said this out loud.
    Off to read Wednesday’s post 🙂
    Cheers Eva

  16. Hail!

    What do you think about love?


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