The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

But I’ll leave you to decide which is which.

The conference is over. I didn’t blog during, and you’ll understand why by the end of this blog post. It went well! I repeatedly heard that the quality of the talks were far better than the previous conference, and honestly things ran very smoothly.

My girlfriend Christelle flew in from NY to attend the conference, and fortunately she flew in early enough that we had a bit of time to hang out and catch up on each other’s lives. We saw each other last summer when she came to visit me at my parents home, and I’d say we generally see each other about once a year. So there’s lots to catch up on. She’s french, so one of the things we absolutely insisted on doing while she was here was going to the local french restaurant. We met up with another girlfriend for that, and it was a really wonderful evening out.

Christelle saw boudin noir on the menu, clearly wanted it, but was afraid she would spend the money and it wouldn’t taste right. She kept saying she’s been burned before with french food in the states. So, our other girlfriend got the boudin noir, Christelle tried it, and then immediately regretted not ordering it. Nevertheless, it was a lovely evening with good company and great food.

One of the most pleasant things about Christelle’s visits is that she’s a fellow introvert, so we can hang together talking or not talking and no one is uncomfortable. She had some additional studying to do before the conference, so while she did that I got to do some spinning.

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That’s all my green singles ready to go as well as a bobbin of more 3 ring circus from Loop. I am more than halfway through a bobbin of black/grey to pair with the 3 ring circus but that fiber was so sticky I didn’t dare try to spin on it in the 20 minutes before the conference every morning for fear of getting it stuck all over my professional clothing.

Christelle and I also took lots of walks, as she wanted to get her steps in, and took a mild interest in my pokemon go game. On Saturday evening I got bit on the neck by a bug.

By Sunday evening that bite was a mess, huge, ugly, glaring red, and making the skin around it red and hard to the touch. This had, of course, the additional fun of making me highly embarrassed, as I still have quite short hair and there was no way at all to cover this thing up. Prescription antibiotic ointment overnight did help enough to get it pulled down into something I could cover with a bandaid, and helped the red lines crawling up my neck, but it was still a nasty sight. (I am going to go ahead and call this the ugly, because it WAS!)

But, the conference continued on despite my embarrassment. The food this year was really terrible, and I accused myself of being a grown up picky eater. But later Christelle said “You cannot call yourself a picky eater if the food is GENUINELY Not worth eating!” So I felt a bit better. We did have a nice banquet one night, off site, and that food was great. We also had a free night, so Christelle and I went back to the french place and she had her boudin noir.

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I did get a little knitting done:

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And a little spinning.

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In fact, I had given myself the goal of 4 spindles of singles, and that got done.

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I took walks when I had the opportunity to keep my brain fresh, and so garden viewing was also done.

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(My current favorite shrub, I am hoping Mr. Ink will put one in for me soon.)

There was also a lot of chocolate.

(That second picture is flourless chocolate cake from a local european bakery that Christelle and I hung out at after the conference was over but before she needed to be at the airport. The coffee at that point was amazing too, as our brains were absolutely fried.)

And then there’s the bad. We found out right in the middle of the conference that Mr. Ink’s best friend, who he has known since childhood, took his life over the weekend. It’s…absolutely devastating news. And not completely a surprise. This is a man that Mr. Ink has nursed back to health in his own home from time to time over the years, and a man that we had been considering finishing our basement for in order that he might have a place to stay when needed. To say he had severe mental health issues would be an understatement. But he was also kind and loving, and he truly appreciated us and let us know regularly how much we meant to him. He was free with his kind words, he was free with his “I love you two” statements, and he tried. He REALLY tried. I’ve never met someone dealt such a terrible hand in life who has tried harder. When your brain isn’t a safe space to be, and you can’t ever get a break from that, you grow weary. We’ve understood over the last few months that he was growing weary, but we had also truly hoped he’d be able to continue on, as he WAS absolutely getting all the help that could possible be provided him. It wasn’t enough.

So, to say that my mind wasn’t on the conference is a bit of an understatement. I don’t think anyone could tell, I took a page from Mike’s book and tried my hardest to keep on, and the conference went as it should. But today? The day after the conference? I have put down my own mental load, took off my step counter, and am going to take it as easy as possible. We are going to have a small gathering of Mike’s friends here at the house tonight. I don’t even know if I am supposed to “do” anything besides make sure the house is in order, which thankfully it mostly is since Christelle was just here.

But today is for regrouping, and I cannot tell you how MUCH I have appreciated all of you over in blog land who have been posting. I am so enjoying reading the posts of my bloglife friends while sipping my coffee in a quiet house. That’s all from me today, we’ll talk again soon. I love you all. Be kind to yourselves, and to those around you. It’s very important!

 

2 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. oh, dear! my heart goes out to you and Mr. Ink. So hard to have someone you love give up on making it in this world. I can’t even imagine.

    And you already were dealing with the second week from hell – I bet you ARE glad to have a quiet time to think about other things. I am glad the conference went reasonably well, although that stinks about the food. Glad you got to spend time with your old friend, and do some knitting and spinning. It is the simple things that make a happy life. 🙂

  2. It sounds like you did so much for Mike in his difficulties. Mental illness is so difficult. he was lucky to have you two to encourage him. May he be at peace now. I dont know why my comments are coming up without my correct info, but its Kathy b of irisheyes here.

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