There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Lots of Stuff, not so bad!

It's been a pretty busy couple of days, and I need to go get busy on today, so I might have to write more later. Here's a photo of a lovely person who is not me, wearing a hat I made. My poor friend Fran could not believe I crocheted the hat without looking at it, but it was just going around and around at the time. The yarn is Noro Sakura, which has interesting little "wormy" things in it. A nice texture!

I am knitting away on my very green shawl for Diana. It really looks good and Faroese. I will have to take an "in progress" picture soon. Of course, the farther I go, the longer each row is. I only had to pull out two rows night before last, so not too much "backward" progress.

There has been lots of job progress. Networking is a happenin' and I found out about what may be a good Web job where another former church friend works. But, it seems it may be even more temporary than the job I already have lined up, but it was good to have something to have hope for! I will still see what happens. And I am still looking at things, so I will perhaps have a chance at something more permanent some day.

Wednesday was Suna Goes Shopping day (a Mall gift certificate was burning a hole in the ole wallet). Poor Dear Partner Fellow did a lot of sitting around. But, I got a wardrobe of comfortable and flattering things to wear in an office environment that look modern, not like an old lady. Mostly black, tan and a nice shade of red for accents. And TWO pairs of shoes. I love shoes. MMM. The last couple of times I had looked for stuff I had seen NOTHING that wasn't so tiny and skin revealing I would never feel comfortable in it, but this time, the NY&Co store had lots of reasonable items, even in petite lengths. AND I was a size 8. That always cheers me up. I do realize size 8 is probably what a 16 was in Mom's day, ha ha. We dropped by Target later, so poor Partner could buy something for HIM, and I discovered there a whole bunch of bras in MY size. That is really exciting to me, as I have a wide ribcage but not huge boobs. It is really hard to find 38A bras, and there were a bunch of them, plus nearly B, which is actually better. I got a couple of bras that are SO comfy. And it was Target, so I didn't spend too much.

Later I even did more shoe shopping, online, with Local Janet. It is fun to shop on IM.

Yesterday was a ton of fun, too, as Not Local Janet came up and we did knitting shopping, bought a picture frame, and hung out at the yarn store for a while. We had a blast, and everyone was laughing and laughing. I even made TWO people nearly spit out their beverages! (A humor triumph!) Even when she is having a midlife crisis, Janet cheers me up. She is so "down to earth" -- no wonder she was the Knight of Swords in my tarot journal!

After she headed back to scenic Seguin, I ran off to the home of a church lady, where she had gathered folks for my first independent knitting class. That went just super! I had SO much fun, and I think the ladies did, too. The hostess had nice food, and a great space for the class. All the new knitters ended up with nice chunks of completed washcloth, and the two who already knew how to knit each got new skills. One learned to purl and the other learned to read patterns and understand her knitting a bit better.

The best part of the evening was finding out that one of the ladies works with Our Farm, where Declan used to go--a lovely place for autistic, ADD, depressed etc., kids to go and work with animals. We had volunteered there one summer. I got to catch up on all the animals, and learned it is going through a bit of a crisis. You know me, I volunteered to help out. It would be so nice to have a local cause I care about to devote my volunteer energies too, now that there is a big hole in my volunteering heart.

More on all this later--I need to go have my fun day!


Anonymous said...
Wishing you strength of spirit as you journey through uncertain times. You have so many talents and it may take time until you feel secure again. Love yaBonnie from PS
Friday, June 30, 2006 12:15:00 PM

Suna said...
Thanks, Bonnie! It is always good to hear from you, and you are so kind to send nice notes in postal mail and the blog!
Friday, June 30, 2006 8:48:00 PM

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bamboo Socks and Omnivore's Dilemma

I have the luxury of some time to myself this evening, so I could upload photos of these newest socks, and write a bit about the book I just read.

The socks at left (click to see them better) were so much fun to knit. The pattern is rather complex but not too bad. It is from the Knitter's magazine book Socks, Socks, Socks, and I think it was called "Tipsy Knitter" or something like that. I thought that the yarn would not detract too much from the pattern, and that seems to be the case. The yarn is that cool Regia Bamboo yarn I mentioned last week, which supposedly wicks away moisture and works well in the summer. It's true--I wore them all day today and my feet didn't get sweaty when I was outdoors, nor did they get chilly in the frigid yarn store environment. And it is SO soft. If you get a chance to use the bamboo sock yarn, I'd say please do!

These may very well be my favorite socks ever, though those Trekking 100 ones still take my breath away.

OK, now for the book report I referred to some time last week. I recently finished reading Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. It is the most interesting food industry/big business book I read since Fast Food Nation. What I like most about it is how Pollan intersperses sections with lots of facts and data with sections on personal experiences with people (and farm animals). The facts really hit home when you see how they are connected to real live people, including YOU. I now look at every food label I see and count corn and corn-derived products. We are really The People of Corn now. I don't know what I found more fascinating, the description of how those mega-farms work, the analysis of the organic food movement, or the section where Pollan attempts to "hunt and gather" an entire meal.

One immediate effect of reading this book has been that I have eliminated certain things from my diet, which is a challenge given that Dear Partner is only comfortable eating highly processed food (hmm, no wonder he is a very large person). I have also breathed a sigh of relief to find out that the things I truly like aren't all that bad after all (those packaged spring green salads, for example). I just want to get rid of as much of the corn products as possible and be careful with soy (Pollack doesn't talk about soy in his book, but says that it is just as ubiquitous in processed foods, as it is also highly subsidized. I knew this first hand, having lived in central Illinois where the corn and soybeans start yards away from the last house in any town.

Even if you don't plan to change your eating habits, this book is worth reading, just so you will know where your food comes from. You will be a more informed consumer.

Related anecdote, last night, Dear Partner and I went out to eat at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant, because I had read their food quality is quite good. When we were seated, I looked around us at all the diners and servers. I counted (including small children) TWO people other than myself who were not overweight. Even the little kids were BIG ones. The servers were all 16 or 17 and mostly quite thin. Hmm. I realized why there were so many larger folks there, when I saw the serving sizes. Typical American restaurant over-large servings. But, I did thoroughly enjoy my 6-ounce filet, sweet potato and green beans (except they were full of bacon). It was wonderful. What did my dining companion, the big fan of processed food have? A chopped steak, chili and baked potato. Two of those three items were remnants from lovely meat that others hadn't eaten the previous night. Sigh. He really can't "do" whole food. I am going to start cooking more, however.

In other less exciting news, I am happy to report that my budgie is fine. She exited her cage while I was fetching her a fresh carrot, and I had to track her down and get her back in the cage. I was worried she might have gotten hurt, since she sat in a huddle for quite a while after she was re-caged. But, when I got home from spending some time at Yarn World, I was relieved to see she had mauled her carrots into bits and was flying around a bit. Whew--don't think I could take another injured pet. I think this was only the third time this bird escaped since I got her, and it has been a long time--I got the bird in 1999 or 2000.


Jennifer said...
Read this and thought of you. ;)Damn fascist Blogger comment script tries to vet my HTML and won't let me use the TARGET attribute in my anchor tags, grouse grouse grumble...
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:03:00 PM

Suna said...
Oh, bwa ha ha. I think that's what Jeff is afraid will happen to me. Everyone, click Jennifer's link!Suna, plain text, though Blogger has once again decided to render her blog "funny"
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:43:00 PM

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Longest Day

This feels like the longest day of my life, but I am proud that I got through it and actually got some productive things done!

Yesterday was a really rough one--the day the kids leave is always hard on me, and I was just touchy all day, like I was feeling something was amiss. I did make a delicious dinner, but foolishly came down to check the computer before heading to bed, to find some upsetting email. Yow, what a mistake. Having to deal with the Dear Partner's attempts at being a good listener (many bonus points for trying, but I just wanted to wallow for a while, not explain my every insecurity in detail) got me all agitated, so of course I could not get to sleep until after 1 am, and I had to get up at 4:15 to drive the young uns to the airport. So, I figure my long day started last night!

I actually was worried I'd fall asleep on the drive to the airport, but eventually got the older boy talking and that helped. It did NOT help that the plane for their nonstop flight had "mechanical difficulties" so they had to get on another set of flights that took 6 hours longer than the original schedule. And because they had to change planes, they had to fly as unaccompanied minors, meaning I had to sit there until the plane took off. 2.5 hours in the airport when you aren't even traveling! At least I ran into a friend who works there, and she'd had to get up even earlier than I did, so I felt better. And it was nice to see her.

I barely had time to run home before having to go to the yarn shop to teach two classes. Both were a lot of fun, and I was happy that I didn't get all zonked out or anything. One lady was SO proud she had learned to make lace. It felt so good to teach her. And it was great fun to teach crochet! That all went well, plus a KIND friend agreed to help someone who needed some individual attention, and that lead to a lot of smiles and learning.

I had to run from knitting land to minister land, where I taught ye olde former minister to use Dreamweaver and edit his RSS feeds. I think this software will be SO much easier for him--among his many strengths does NOT appear to be "technology"-- so I was really pleased to see him finding this easier than previous set-ups. If only we hadn't wiped out his site accidentally, it would have been a great success (luckily, I had saved the files at home, LOL).

So, after all THAT I am one tired puppy, and I am driving home, feeling satisfied that I got a lot done, but beat. I get in the car, and the most beautiful music I ever heard begins to play. And then there was the voice of an angel, singing an absolutely glorious, touching, moving song about not wanting "to die until I'm too old to die young." Oh, who is that, I wonder? Ha ha, it was A Prairie Home Companion and that voice was none other than my favorite female singer of all time, Linda Ronstadt. Duh. Now I know a CD to run out and get! The sun came out after all the rain, and everything was clear and clean. It was a nice drive home.

The first thing I did when I got home was draw my tarot card, which, of course, goes in the other journal, but I just thought it was TOO funny, I drew the 4 of swords, which is Death (see song lyric), and it has this lady lying asleep on it. Yes, cards, I am sleepy. And I do need a respite from turmoil. Once again, I am a practitioner of the Tarot of the Obvious.


sthorne said...
Awww, I remember those parental transistion days of my MIL, always an introspective day. Take good care of yourself.Sandy
Sunday, June 25, 2006 5:59:00 PM

Jody said...
awwww, I get to be a kind friend. :)
Monday, June 26, 2006 10:48:00 AM

Friday, June 23, 2006

Queen Me

Look at meee, I'm a beauty pageant entrant. More of a job pageant entrant. I am wearing my lovely sash sent by my friend Nancy in San Antonio. Very crafty, Nancy. She sent a sweet note saying that since she could not be with me to cheerlead me on during my job search, she made me this job seeker self esteem booster sash. It's pretty darned funny, and made me feel better after what happened in the previous post.

There's a lovely white flower, two blue rabbit's feet, cheerleader charms and megaphones and lovely #1 hearts. All on shiny garland stuff that I used to use for something when I was a youth--you wound yarn in it or some such thing?

I like that there is a gnome peeking over me, like a little pagan angel on my shoulder. Ha ha ha ha. (I am in Jeff's studio, as witnessed by large collection of record albums and sound cushioning stuff on the walls.)

My friends have helped SO much--no wonder I am feeling better! I received a lovely care package from my first coworker at my old job--my original helper. And another little token from an email pal, and many wonderful cards. At first I was just too bummed out to appreciate it, but now that I have crawled out of the hole a bit, I am really appreciating all the job ideas, kind words, little gifts, dinners, sweet email messages and phone calls. It reminds me that what I DID get out of the former job was some wonderful friends, of all ages and stages, all over the world. Now I just hope I don't lose them!


Meg Sondey said...
OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH.... REAL cheerleading sashes!DEFINITELY cool! DEFINITELY in!Bet the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders wish they had good friends like this!
Friday, June 23, 2006 5:37:00 PM

Nancy Jo said...
Honey, I'm on you like glue. You'll have to go into the witness protection program to lose me.your email pal forever
Friday, June 23, 2006 5:41:00 PM

Deb said...
Love the Sash!!!! Sorry the job is not starting right away for you. We will have to go out to lunch some Saturday before you start work. Anton and I want to come see your favorite yarn shop too.Deb
Saturday, June 24, 2006 12:45:00 AM

Jennifer said...
Yeah, I'm with Nancy Jo on this one.
Saturday, June 24, 2006 5:01:00 PM

Suna said...
Thanks, friends. Right now I really need all the loyal friends I can get. You have helped me through a rough day with these posts.
Saturday, June 24, 2006 7:36:00 PM

As Roseanne RosannaDanna said...'s always somethin'!

I'd been a bit concerned when I didn't get a call from the hiring fellow at the "staffing" company yesterday, telling me where to report to work today. So, when I still had not heard by noon today, I gave him a call.

SHEESH. He asked me if it would be horrible for me to wait until July 10 to start work, as the manager at the "real" company (this company is TOO big to hire its own people--which is why I never have met the coworkers or bosses or even seen where I will work) was going to be on vacation. Great, I have to make another decision.

I think it just irritated me, because I was all psyched up to start the new thing, get on with it, find out about life on the cubicle farm and all that, then, nope, not today! In many ways, I would love the time off (if only I could GO somewhere or DO something--but I will have to save every penny to stretch my severance pay and whatever eventually comes in via unemployment). It would also give me more time to do interviews, if any more come through, and I could teach the kids' knitting classes next week or week after, whenever they are.

That's not even my biggest concern. It's my least favorite day of the year tomorrow, the day the boys have to go to spend a month with their dad. I hate that period so much. I don't like to be away from them, even though I know it is good for them to spend time with their other parent. I was an attachment parenting person when they were younger--that's why I tried to work from home for so long, etc. I know the boys will enjoy spending time with my dad--they get to go to Williamsburg. And I know they will get to eat well in the Home of the Super Athletes (my ex's and his wife's house), and get to spend time in their lovely second home in the mountains. Sigh, all the things I can't do. But they love us anyway!!

OK, next up is a book review.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can't even pee in a cup!

My new employer-as-far-as-I-can-tell is a huge corporation, so to get a job you have to do many, many repetitive and weird things. Like spend an hour reading scary admonitions "don't bring in any guns!" "don't tell anyone any secrets," "don't use your computer for personal stuff!" OK, so I won't do that. Good thing I have my address memorized, because I had to write it like 30 times today during the "paperwork" session I did.

After that, I had 24 hours to go to another office (in a rather scary part of town) for drug testing and background check. Why, oh why, did I use the restroom before leaving the main corporate office place???

So, when I got to the background check place, where I joined a throng of jean-and-t-shirt-clad applicants for I guess manufacturing jobs or something, I didn't have to go. And I tried, but could not "produce." Am I not cut out for corporate success or what?? (I am laughing as I type this.) So I got to drink like 5 cups of water and read a horrible Cosmo magazine and chat with the pee collection lady until I was sure I DID have some product in there. And I did, and I passed the test! (Not sure how I could have failed, but it is always nice to pass something!)

You do some funny things getting ready for a career switch. I must have spent 45 minutes in the closet today figuring out what business casual attire I own (mostly purchased for my infrequent trips to the former main work office in Illinois). I am very low on pants that look reasonable, and what I do have is mostly black. Better get some navy and tan. I did find a white cropped pant I already owned, but it is thin. I saw a lot of ladies in white capris, so maybe I need that. I do have a bunch of skirts (ick) and a few dresses (ugh). So, I don't have to go out and buy stuff. And lots of shoes. I always have lots of shoes, because I am a Pisces.

Now I can knit nice work-ish tops, too. See, I fit knitting into today's post. I also got in the mail the new yarn for that shawl I am making for my friend. It is "greener" than it looked on the computer, but fascinating. Genuine Shetland wool from the Shetland islands. That shawl called for Shetland jumper weight, and by golly I got the real thing! It is not soft, more like "sturdy," but it's genuine!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Moving Forward

Hey, remember last Tuesday, when I ran into a guy at a meeting who gave me his card? Less than a week later, I have a job offer! Makes a great story, huh! The job is just for 9 months, and perhaps might not be fascinating (or maybe it WILL be, who knows???), but the pay is excellent and the commute not bad. I hope I didn't mess up, because I told the fellow I had to think about it, but I really thought it necessary to run it by some folks (amusingly, my partner, my ex and my dear pal where I used to work) to make sure I was thinking straight. I am just a BIT concerned that I will have to do this search thing all over again. But maybe not. Maybe it will turn permanent, ya never know. And I am currently thinking POSITIVE.

I am so effing relieved to not have to worry about losing the house and all that stuff.

To all of you reading this who were sending thoughts, prayers, vibes, and all that, I extend my deepest appreciation. I know it all helped, and it certainly does help to know you have good and loyal friends. Balances having to deal with some friends being less than that, and helps me not be such a darned pessimist.


Jody said...
Woo! Freaking! Hoo!I'm so excited for you. JOB JOB JOB JOB
Monday, June 19, 2006 6:53:00 PM

Anonymous said...
Congrats on the job offer.Deb
Monday, June 19, 2006 9:52:00 PM

Vicki said...
That is wonderful news indeed. I hope you enjoy the work.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 6:42:00 AM

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yarn Content Experiment

Weekends get LONG when you can't do anything that costs money. At least I got to go listen to the Dear Partner play at one of my favorite spots, BB Rover's (where you can get Ace Pear Cider and listen to folk music on Saturdays) with some friends. And I had a nice lunch with a dear friend on Friday, too--those things are a real boost.

Also on Saturday, in between bouts of acting as knitting therapist to numerous sweet older ladies (and teaching a class--fun!), another friend came over to look at all my tarot decks. It is fun to revisit them, though I sure wish I could remember where I got the weird one whose images all appear to be some kind of metallic sculptures. And I still get a kick out of the Housewives' Tarot. Check that one out if you like novelty decks that are WELL conceived and executed.

Mostly I worked on my newest socks in bamboo blend yarn. Here is it's description (and where I got it)

I finished the first sock, and the tipsy knitter lace/cable pattern is quite a hoot. The ball of yarn talked about how bamboo breathes and wicks moisture, so I am trying an experiment and wearing the bamboo sock on one foot and a wool sock on the other foot. Both with the same Birkies. Sure enough, the bamboo foot feels cooler, yet not cold, in the air conditioned office of Suna environment. I feel a bit of sweat in the toe area (not a lace section), so next I will have to slap on a lace wool sock to make sure the issue is not the holey nature of a lace sock.

Anyway, the bamboo sure feels good. I look forward to sharing a picture when both socks are done!

Thanks to Lisa for reading and commenting. I love it when you all say something back to me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Whole New World, and a Sock

I'll start with the easy thing first, hey, look at my sock. The two socks didn't come out QUITE identical, but they are close, so I will keep them. They are nice and cool for summer, since the yarn is a cotton blend (OnLine brand). These are interesting colors, huh. We weren't sure how the stripes would affect the lace pattern, but people say that at least "in person" the stripes don't overwhelm the lace. The sock is Hedera, from Knitty--and the designer apparently knows someone I know from the organization I used to work for, so it's a small knitting world.

I also have a close-up of the pattern which I will link here as soon as I upload it. The socks knitted up really quickly, probably because they were worked during the height of my stressed out/anxious period. Now I am working on the new yarn. So far, so good on the silk one--the pattern will be beautiful and it feels great. I am using my new circular double zeroes that are the right length for magic loop socks for the Opal silk pair. My only other needles that size were too short. I must have bought them for a non-sock project.

The title of today's post signifies my entry into the world of unemployment. Everything sure takes a long time. Of course I could not apply online, because my employer was in another state. Then, when I finally got someone on the phone (a perfectly helpful person), there was a snag. Like, they hadn't reported my income. Sigh. So who knows what I will get or when. The good news is that they base your pay on last year. Which is nice, because that was when I was making a goodly salary (and happy, and enjoying the project I was working on, and feeling valued and productive!). There's always SOME complication.

And then I had that interview today. Wow, I am just out of the whole "corporate" thing for too long. I felt like a piece of cattle. Let's just say it was a bit strange (I had to take a writing test--in longhand), but I handled it, and if I don't get the nicer job I applied for last week, I will just bite the bullet and take a 9-month contract job. At least it will put off the poor house for a while and let me try to find something more supervisory and less writing. And I might meet nice people, make contacts, find something good. I am thinking positive! At least I have had interviews! Woo!

Mentally, I actually do feel a bit better. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. It helps to not think of the past stuff at all, other than being somewhat amused at some turns of events, and to focus on how I can do good in the future. (If I type it, it will come true, hee hee.)


lisa said...
i have been trying to send positive thoughts your way....sounds like things are getting better:)miss you...Lisa
Sunday, June 18, 2006 3:34:00 PM

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Networking Is Your Pal

They always say to network like crazy when you are looking for work. I had been holding back on some of it, as I had honestly thought/hoped that really good job would come through, while at the same time having a deep feeling that someone with more recent qualifications would turn up and I'd be toast: BINGO.

But, anyway, that's in the past, so I said, "let's get networking," and sent a rather pitiful thing out to women at the church I used to go to (and may again, friends). I mentioned my need to network and my idea of doing "learn to knit" parties. Very soon after that, a woman not only sent me lots of networking ideas, but also sent an email out to 40 of her closest friends to see if any of them were interested in a knitting party. She already has five people interested!

So, that worked.

Then, after curling up in a fetal position for a half hour (mandatory moping period) I got up and figured I should go to the tarot class my friend is teaching, so I can support her. I dragged myself through 100+ degree heat, only to discover that the place we met last week was filled with PFLAG members (parents and friends of lesbians and gays, or something like that--an organization dear to my heart given my personal collection of siblings and friends). I was feeling rather "what the hell," so I said, "Hello there PFLAG! I'm Sue Ann, I have gay siblings, and I am looking for work as a technical writer!" Or something equally forward. Two guys looked at me, sorta bug-eyed. The very tall one came up to me and introduced himself, and then began frantically scribbling down his email address. It appears that he and his partner had just been discussing his strong need for a technical writer on the way to the meeting. That explains the bug-eyed looks. This very nice fellow said please send a resume tonight, if possible, and I said I sure would! The other guy whispered, "He's my partner and he is wonderful to work with," which was so sweet! Anyway, I got such a nice vibe from these folks that I have swallowed my dread about working for a certain large Austin-based corporation and will be interviewing and peeing in a cup there tomorrow. I had a call from a human resources person before 9 am. That dude was SERIOUS.

As you can guess, I feel a bit better after all that, and do feel very happy about the power of networking. I thank everyone who has given me ideas and support (my friend Elis. got someone to make m a podcast answering some of my questions about web programming!!)--I have lots of things to try out if this particular opportunity )or either of the other two positions I am up for) does not pan out. It feels good to have a plan.

By the way, all this more positive stuff has occurred since my misplaced anti-negativity amulet my pal Katherine made me reappeared suddenly by leaping out of my closet and into my hand. I have NO idea where it was, as none of the clothing I was reaching for had pockets. Neener-neener (insert Twilight Zone music)

And I think I will take half my last day at work as a sick day and go to the yarn shop and finish my second lacy sock, so I can start the bamboo one this evening!


Anonymous said...
Wonderful news!!!!!Keeping you in my thoughts tomorrow as you interview for what sounds like an awesome opertunity. And Peeing in a cup once in awhile for a company is not so bad. You get used to it after awhile. Ask me some day where I worked prior to children. Some think it is why a Glow. hehehe

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:28:00 PM

PS, 3/23/07, last day of job mentioned above: I have no idea who neslod is

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bad News, Good Yarn

Not my peak of perkiness today, as I found out the job I had wanted so badly went to someone else, with a computer science degree and without spending ten years as a nonprofit Internet wrangler between official technical writing jobs. Oh well, it was nice of my friend to think of me in the first place--I just wish I had been good enough! Now I have to try even harder for something else. I have stepped up the networking and stepped down my job standards. That should help!

I did have an interview today, with some very nice people who can't help that their office is like an hour away in rush hour. But, the work with public libraries sounds very interesting. I hope to hear from them again. And it is a SMALL place. I like that. Perhaps (but not guaranteed) less corporate bureaucracy.

As for "good yarn," some lovely sock yarn I had ordered from the Netherlands the day before I lost the ole employment arrived yesterday. It put me in a good mood at least for a while! I got two pairs' worth of lovely bamboo blend sock yarn, one that resembles a lot of the summery cotton yarn you see around, and the other which is mostly off white with flecks of pink and light purple in it--that one I plan to use to make a cable and lace sock from the Knitter's Magazine sock book. It is clamed the bamboo yarn "breathes" well and is good for summer, and since it has been over 100 degrees here for a few days, that sounds good.

I also got a skein of Opal Silk/Wool in an odd combo of blues and purple-ish that I hope knits up better than it looks on the skein--but hey, it has silk in it! And there was a regular Opal wool sock yarn that was on sale and in purple and green, so I got that, too.

Those have now made up for the socks I have finished lately, so the stash has not lowered. At least I have something to do while waiting on that phone!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Made It through Another Weekend

Other than one sleepless night, the weekend wasn't so bad. I really enjoyed knitting on my current sock, which I know you'll enjoy, too. It's Hedera, from the current Knitty, but everyone agrees it looks better in the Online Summer Cotton stripe (watermelon-y shades) than it did in the kinky picture with the weird sandals. I am almost done with the leg on sock #2, so it will be viewable soon.

The picture above shows the partner and his band from Saturday night. He's the one drumming. Usually he plays lead guitar, but the drummer was unavailable. I can't believe he can sing loud rock songs AND drum at the same time, but he sang lead on most of the songs! He was a drummer before he took up guitar, and it was fun to listen. The band sounded great, too. For a bunch of dudes who are no longer in the bloom of youth, they really rock. The bad thing about taking photos at the scenic Round Rock Rhinos & Jocks sports bar is that they have a stop-sign shaped sign above the stage that reflects very brightly if you take a photo with flash. Above, the Dear Partner covered it up.

Had a good dinner with my sister last night. Everyone got along well. I made a roast and she brought vegetables, which we roasted as well. The younger son was a lot of help in the cooking--he wants to learn more, so we let him learn some stuff. It sure was heartwarming to see my two boys chowing down and asking for SECONDS on roasted beets. Well, you have to taste it to believe it. They are sweet and delicious.

Eh, too worried about ominous rumblings I hear from my almost-former work, so I'll just go back to sitting and waiting for the phone to ring. It's nice when it rings and it is a friend!!


Elisabeth said...
How long, at how high a temp, do you roast the veggies? I got some good-lookin' beets at the farmers' market last weekend, and, other than pickling them, don't know what to do with them.They are weird heirloom beets, and look like peppermints in cross-section: concentric circles of white and deep violet.(I hear those same ominous rumblings, but I'm going to pretend that they're my hungry tummy, instead of the foundations of our years of work crumbling into the ruins of the basement)
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:46:00 PM

Friday, June 9, 2006

Knitting Is Good

Knitting is good. It makes me feel creative and productive. The process feels wonderful. Knitting takes my mind off unpleasantness. And knitting with people around does wonders for one's soul. Knitting is good.

My two socks that I knitted on one circular needle came out well, and I have had so much time to knit this week that I got them finished in less than a week. I used Interlacements Tiny Toes, which is a very twisty, airy merino sock weight yarn, in lovely fall tones. Quite soft, even before washing. The pattern on the leg is a knit and purl right triangle pattern, which sort of makes a ribbed effect. I knitted these on size 1 needles, with 60 stitches around, and they are looser than most other socks I make. They came out very comfortable, though, and the only thing I didn't like about this looser gauge is that it let to a couple of holey spots where I picked up on a large slipped stitch in the gusset. I really should stick to a firmer gauge, and will from now on. This was just an experiment (expensive yarn for an experiment!).

Today I finally feel more "normal," though I did not get to sleep until nearly 6 am last night. I got up for an hour and a half and did email and posted my late blog entries, then just lay in bed until I finally dozed off. I applied for a couple of good jobs--networking IS helping--I got some good leads from friends! Now I just hope the phone rings with good news.

Thursday, June 8, 2006


[this was written this afternoon, but blogger was down and I couldn't post. since then I have had another whallop to the self esteem and can't sleep, but I know I will handle it in the morning.]

It is quite interesting to know one's self well enough to recognize one's stages of dealing with bad crap in life. I know I get very upset, then angry with a ton of irritated energy, then start trying to find the good in the situation, then suddenly a CLICK occurs and I am ready to move forward. I did my best last night, after reading some particularly hard-to-take email, to make that click happen. And that's good, because I was practically catatonic with worry about my friends, concern for others, and frustration.

The Dear Partner fed me a cocktail (mmm, delicious, though you might not imagine that Southern Comfort plus diet cherry limeade would be good), and that finally relaxed me enough to dig down and do some internal reorganizing. Made the shift to resignation and acceptance--since all along I knew there wasn't much I could do about the work stuff anyway.

I won't lie and say I feel no stress or concern today, but I am a lot better. I still felt badly for all the upset friends who were confused or angry, and wanted to help THEM transition, so I wrote an email with some ideas, encouraging them to do what works best for them--heck, if I had a chance to work with all the fun new stuff they are going to have at the former job, I'd try to find a way to do it that didn't compromise my morals, too! I hold nothing against any friends or former coworkers who want to participate.

So now, I can worry about what I NEED to worry about. Like I was just telling Jennifer in IM, my favorite communication method, my #1 nightmare since my husband left me was that I would suddenly end up unable to support myself and lose my kids. I know HE can afford to take care of them, but they are ALL I have. I realize that is why I feel such panic--my dear boys.

But, panicking doesn't get us anywhere! So, I am thinking them there positive thoughts for jobs #1 and #2, and looking forward to an interview for job #3, which came up this morning. At least I have possibilities! That is GREAT.

Now, I want to respond to the comment from yesterday's post, from Vicki. I chuckled a bit, because so much of what she wrote described my Dear Partner's mode of living. As a musician, he has always lived from paycheck to paycheck, and has rarely had "real" jobs--he has saved like crazy when he did, so he could live during lean times. And let me tell you, his frugality has been the key to how we have managed to stay in this big house the past three years. He has saved a lot on food, utilities and lots of other things--he's an amazing sale shopper--really earned his keep. But, he doesn't know how to make his own laundry soap, so send the recipe, Vicki!! It's been nice having him here, as with all the working I've been doing, I never have time to scour the sales for needed items--so we make a good team!

And remember, his podcasts are very, very good: Plug Plug.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Limbo, limbo, limbo

Waiting to hear whether the good job has come through has been a way of life for me since I interviewed, nearly two months ago. But now that I need to be making plans for what to do with my life, and SOON, it is really getting hard to take. I already have my gracious speech ready to give when I hear I don't have it, and think I can be calm if I do. It won't be coming out of the blue, so I won't get upset like I did when the firing call came.

I just feel in limbo, because I don't want to start canceling things (cable TV, phone services, maid, pest control, music lessons, all the little options in life that have to go when there's no income) when there is a chance I don't need to do so. And I don't want to spend a lot of time coming up with temporary money making schemes (what can I sell on Ebay, can I do tarot readings for extra bucks, etc.) that I don't need to. So, limbo limbo limbo, I wait in limbo. The nerves are shot.

Yesterday I did have a fairly decent interview for a job writing web training materials for a very large retail chain. The people seemed OK, the job not a total snooze, the location not too far but in bad traffic until the new toll road comes through, but it's not exciting and fascinating like the one I hope to get. But am not counting on. But at least I still have a chance at something.

It has been really hard having to tell my dad and sister I got fired. My big psychological nemesis is wanting to please my dad and be a success, so admitting failure is really hard. Even when it is not all my fault (like my inner voice keeps screaming--shut up, inner voice!!), I hate to worry him when he has enough worries. Oh well, that is all done.

Fellow readers, if you have any ideas for different kinds of things I could do temporarily while waiting for a job more in my field, let me know! I already figure I'll hit all the Hobby Lobby and Michael's franchises if nothing pans out in the next week or two. Just for some income. I'll muddle through!

I will have some socks done soon, looks like. They are past the heel now. I think they are on needles that are too thick, though. But I successfully got through the heels on a two socks on one circular project!


Vicki said...
Here are some things that helped me to pay off $10K in debt in one year.1. Use the library more. Return books on time. Filling up the hours with free, borrowed books and DVDs from the library means less time spent a) worrying about money and b) wishing you could spend money or worse, c) actually out spending money.
2. Cook with lentils. I can send you the lentil & rice casserole recipe from the "Tightwad Gazette" if you want... it is actually good.
3. Figure out if you can make things you buy instead of buying them. It's often much cheaper and not much work to do. I am currently using homemade laundry detergent that looks weird but works great and costs about 1/10 of what the regular stuff does. It takes almost no time to make a humongous batch.
4. The most effective thing I did by far was make a "price book" and start tracking the lowest possible prices on all the consumables we bought, mostly food. It is really incredible how much money you can save doing this, and aside from an initial investment of time it does not really take much more time than the regular grocery shops. Instructions for this are in the "tightwad gazette". I found software for my palm pilot called "pricebook" that I still use today.
5. Most importantly, have an attitude of triumph instead of deprivation when you are cutting corners. Instead of thinking "this sucks, poor me, I DESERVE not to have to do all this pinching pennies", think of it as a way to beat the system, a way to keep more of the money you worked so hard to bring into your life. Why should the grocery store owner line his pockets with that money when you can keep it yourself and use it for the things that bring YOU pleasure?Hope this helps.Vicki the tightwad
Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:48:00 AM

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Let's Count Symptoms!

I am awake, unable to sleep. So I am counting my anxiety symptoms instead of sheep! This will be fun. Man, imagine what they'd be without the anti-anxiety stuff!

  1. unable to get to sleep (never a problem before in my life)
  2. eyes watering constantly
  3. right eye has had a tic since early in the week when I got a "vibe" that something was afoot
  4. occasionally, right side of mouth also twitches
  5. lovely pimples, all over my face
  6. digestive difficulties--even with stomach meds
  7. chest pains--I hate those the most
  8. shaking, leading to typing and knitting trouble
  9. difficulty being around people (not good when the only paying work you have left is teaching--but, I am fine when I am with them, just totally wiped by the time I get home from the effort)
  10. snapping at kids
  11. memory lapses and lots of them
  12. impatience when anyone else talks about THEIR problems, as if mine is the only one (ha ha ha, at least I know that's silly, and have listened enough to remember others have it just as bad as, or worse than me--I am rather ticked at myself for these feelings)
  13. constant thoughts about vengeful things I would do if I wasn't a pacifist, a person with strong moral convictions and ethics, or nice, which I then mentally berate myself for.

Luckily, I am passing from the anger phase to the grief phase, and will soon be in resignation phase. No denial phase in this personal loss situation. And folks, realize a lot of this is just my grim humor, trying to rouse myself back into SuperSuna mode.

Good news dept: I have an in-person interview with my second job prospect, on Monday. Don't know if I mentioned that. And my kids are fine. And my partner has been really helpful and even applied for two jobs.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Remember That Paranoia?

You may recall that I posted a couple of days ago about paranoia, sort of chiding myself for being so paranoid. After all, I had never had a bad review (or any review, actually), got fan mail every day from happy customers, and kept being told what a valuable employee I was. Until I was fired yesterday, anyway. Cause I am too expensive and things are "moving in another direction."

And the paranoia was spot on. This is a private blog--I only post it to email lists that are confidential or private, or I tell someone about it personally. I expect the contents to be kept confidential--this is not the New York Times. And I have a right to talk about my life here. But, apparently this blog's secret function is for people to read, then send the contents on to others--no doubt I slipped up and posted my private .sig on the wrong list or something--yes, of course, it is all my fault.

While pretty much every single person in the office where I will work for another 13 days is looking for alternative employment (unless waiting to retire after a conference next year), I am penalized because I mentioned it in my personal blog. And I mentioned it a long time ago, too. I had not stopped working, planning, encouraging volunteers, and doing whatever the people in charge would still let me do. If [whoever it is] had just allowed me to graciously quit, I had planned to save them money by not hanging on or anything, and had planned to volunteer to help out with some of my previous jobs in my spare time. I also would have only had to deal with some email saying how sorry they were to lose me but glad I have a better opportunity. Now I get severance and my vacation time, lots of it. But I also have to politely field dozens of phone calls and even more emails. And try to cheer up crying employees and encourage them to keep doing their work, for the greater good.

Perhaps they were just not looking forward to my letter of resignation, so they proactively dumped me. Hee hee. But, heck, those in charge edit resignation letters before sharing them with others, anyway.

I do hope whoever had it in for me so much that they felt justified in sharing my private postings feels satisfied to be rid of me. How nice it would have been if that person could have talked to me about it first, so I could explain the situation! And how helpful it might have been if I had been available to assist during the transition from our current way of doing things to the newer brighter, shinier thing I assume some new consultants will bring in! (My, what a nice job I could have done had I ever been given more than the bare mnimum in funding, real employees with programming skills, a graphic designer who got paid, and some training for me!)

On a similar note, here are the most common things said to fired people and what keeps running through my head:

  • it wasn't personal= don't take it personally (it happened to a person)
  • we are moving in another direction (got that one twice this year so far--never have heard what that direction IS)
  • it wasn't my decision (what is it, decision makers are physically incapable of doling out their decisions and seeing the effect? why to they keep making my close personal friends dump me? CHICKENS)
  • when one door closes, another one opens (the door to the poorhouse)
  • I hope another wonderful opportunity for you opens up soon (me too, as I was never paid enough to accumulate any savings and I am the sole wage earner for my family)

And to readers who don't let me know you are here, if you have something to say to me, say it to me. Don't forward my posts to others or telephone people about me.

I'll post the image that goes with this post in a couple of weeks. It's a nice one.