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!

Monday, January 29, 2007


Well, I've gone from two dogs and two cats to 4 dogs in the past year. Jeff just found Seamus, my 12-year-old brown tabby in the back yard dead. No signs of injury. He is all afraid it died from being cold. I don't think so--he'd been out in much colder weather than it is here today. I worry that the big dog shook it or something, which you wouldn't see--they didn't get along. But, there is no way to know, so I will choose to believe something else happened. But I am sad, because he was the last remnant of when I had a happy, nuclear family who all enjoyed being with each other (at least as far as I knew), when we lived in Illinois, with all our work friends, the great neighbors, my play group, the pretty flowers and my beautiful yard, my women's circle, the kids' cool now it is all totally gone.

Now I understand why I drew the Death card on Saturday. Well, if I choose to believe any of that has any actual tie with reality (agnostic until the end...).
The photo is of Seamus trying to decide whether to knit or watch TV...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wild Weekend Is OVER!!

Whew, it's been a long weekend. And it is over! Yahoo! (Jeff would next utter, "Google," and irritate me, but I am taking back the word "yahoo").

The movie (Pan's Labyrinth)we went to with the Younger Son was certainly violent, but the special effects were incredible, and the story was very good--more realistic than many "fairy tales," but quite beautiful. The effects' main wonderful feature was that they were so good you didn't notice them. All the bizarre characters looked so real you didn't think about the effort it took to get them there. The most funny part was that, because the movie was in Spanish, it was really about a "Fauno" not anything named "Pan." I guess folks worried that Americans would think the labyrinth of the faun was about a deer. At the end of the movie, we heard two girls asking each other which character was "Pan," and was it like Peter Pan? A great deal of self control was needed from all three of us to not die laughing. Younger Son said, "I think they missed the point of this movie." He was amazingly good through it--violence that made me sick he coped with fine. I do believe the Older Boy would have had more trouble with it.

Saturday was long and busy. I taught knitting, as usual, in the morning. I enjoyed the class, but missed seeing Jody or Katy. I had to leave as soon as I was done for one last rehearsal with the singing boys. They had the sound system all set up by the time I got there, and it went remarkably smoothly. Lee's sound system worked well, in conjunction with the Coffeehouse equipment. It really felt good to hear that we can sound quite good now, really. For some reason my voice is in great shape now. That feels nice. Jeff suggests it is a lack of stress. Heh, could be.

After all that rehearsing, we raced home to clean up, because people from work were coming by for a party with a Greek theme. (I must point out that my precious children cleaned my family room up and did a SUPER job.) It went pretty well. Work Boy #2 was disappointed that Younger Son was not there (he went to spend the night with a friend), but his spouse was thrilled to see Rose the Puppy again. Mostly she fed our dogs food from her hand all night. Sigh. The party went pretty well, though it was not overly exciting. New Contractor Girl brought her very nice boyfriend, who is also a writer, so everyone bonded, especially the novelists. Genia made a really good Greek cake that I hope to get the recipe for.

Today we got up at the stroke of 6 and were at the site of our singing by 7:30. It was so freaking COLD. None of the guys could feel their fingers, which made playing guitars and keyboards difficult. But I was proud that we did a good job, and certain usually nerved out members of the band were just fine. I got all congestitated from the frigid weather, but still sang pretty darned good and was pleased. And it was fun. We were at the 3M half marathon, and lots of the runners waved and did thumbs up at us. That was really nice. And we got PAID. And some coffee and breakfast tacos. We were in front of the Amy's Ice Cream HQ on Burnet, and we weren't too loud for the neighbors, which was a first for them (couldn't have been too loud--for half the time Bill's guitar did not amplify. Lee did a good job on his solos for someone with frozen fingers, too. If it hadn't been so cold, I'd have sung all the songs we know!

But we made it to church in time to sing there then suffer through a long congregational meeting. I feel like a Good UU again. We came home and then intrepidly drove out to fetch Lee's poor lonely Scary Motorcycle, so it lives here now, too.

The big excitement was that Jeff finally got the Older Boy his precious Wii item. He had been diligently haunting stores that might sell them, and at last got a tip at Wal-Mart that they'd be in at 8 am today. There were 5 of them and he got #5. I was so proud of him for going to all that effort, and relieved to get that task off my list of things that need to be done.

This evening we relaxed, ate pizza and watched Fox comedies with the kids. It is so, so nice to just sit around and laugh. The dogs even calmed down a bit so we could hear the shows. It felt so family-like. Ahhhhh.

Still dealing with dog stuff--Rose peed on the floor in front of all the party guests (typical), and "someone" got a lovely cat poop nugget out of the litter box today. Lee picked it up, thinking it was dirt. ICK ICK ICK. So, I blocked access to THAT. We are sorta worried about the cat, anyway. He was making a funny noise last night, according to Jeff, and we have not seen him today. We already saw the cute kitten next to Lee all mangles (looks like someone ran over its leg). Too much cat sadness.

On that perky note, I guess I will stop typing. Lee has some work class next week, so I am on my own doing a really, really boring task. Ah well. It pays. I hope you all are doing well. Say hi if you have time to comment!

PS: I get peeved at the Blogger spell checker, which sometimes does not remove yellow text when you change a word. Grr.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Better? Sure

Happy birthday to my friend Barbara, pictured here with me learning all about Open Space, or something. Really we were concentrating on knitting, for the most part. At least I hope it is her birthday--someone said it was. In any case, she deserves to be honored any old day.
I feel better, honest. I'm really not feeling "bad," just thinking hard about stuff. I do that a lot.
Today I got out of the rut and left work early to do some work covering the butts of the temp agency I actually work for (seems they lost my paperwork, or some of it). But then I finally got to go visit the Ikea that opened up a while back, and that was fun. I spent less than $50 and got 30 glasses (drinking and wine), a bunch of candles for Lee, two toilet brushes, some Swedish food, magazine storage boxes, a rag rug, a flour sifter and many other fine items like that. I did not get the office chair I'd intended to get, but I felt like I needed help in that, so some day if the schedule lightens up, I will take Lee.
He and I are taking the Younger Son to a movie tonight, since we seem to do so much for the other one lately. I hope I don't get all scared (Pan's Labyrinth). Afterward, I may drag Lee out to watch a friend sing at one of the places in Round Rock we used to go hide when we were all confused and in love, and had no place to go.
The puppy dug up more carpet today and munched on some fake plants. Of course, she's fine when we are all here. But, dang, I really do need to replace my carpets now. After THREE puppies, it's showing its age.
So, things are what pass for normal here now!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Small Update from a Grump

Ya know how, once a month, women get all moody and clumsy and just don't feel "there"? It's that day for me. So, I have left my purse/badge/phone at home, gotten discouraged at work I have done, felt depressed after a meeting that is supposed to cheer the staff up...blah. I guess I should be glad I have not managed to offend the boss today (I did that a couple of days ago, by being too informal). I am back to where I was this time last year and really worrying about jobs. I guess it's time to worry. On the good side:

  • My mammogram came out clear--first time in ages that happened on the first try
  • I did a big off-site presentation in front of a lot of "important people" and did a good job, and didn't act too attached to my boyfriend at it, either.
  • I got hugged by an L3 Tech Guru (big deal at Austin's Largest Employer)
  • The dogs are settling in
  • No word from STBX means I can relax around Lee again--she makes me so paranoid
  • Jeff's (formerly known as RM) been really nice and even brought me that missing purse today, and had to sit around waiting for me to come get it--I will take him out to dinner for that
  • Lee and I managed to order the expensive dog door, which will make life easier
  • That nasty gig at the crack of dawn Sunday is almost here, which means the constant rehearsing will end soon--and my voice seems in good shape even with some sinus congestion
  • We got new monitors at home (yay); unfortunately my graphics card doesn't like the darned thing (boo). Will fix that.
  • I got a new system at work (yay) but no monitor (boo). It took a while to get things set up again, but things are rolling now.
  • A new person started at work and she seems nice.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dog Pix!!

Here are 4 pictures we took this evening.

The first one Lee would like me to tell you is called "5 A**holes" but I prefer to title it "dog butts." It is pretty funny how all four of the dogs lined up, though.

Next is proof I like the puppy and she likes me.

Then one showing old blind Gwynnie and Rose playing tug-of-war with a certain pug wishing they were paying attention to him.

The other is just a nice portrait of Rose, to show how she is growing quickly.

Good night!

More Positive Dog News

I didn't want to leave you folks thinking I was wallowing in all my negativity for the past few days. Things have been steadily improving, as I'd figured they would. I still feel a bit crowded--probably everyone in the house does to some extent, but as Lee pointed out to me, at least it is a crowd where everyone is doing their best to get along and treat each other politely.
And today, finally, the sun is shining!! So, here's a pretty, shiny sun.

The dogs have been doing a great job getting to know each other. It really warmed my heart to hear that little Rose picked up Gwynneth's favorite toy and took it over to her so they could play tug-of-war. And I have seen the two of them playing and playing--poor Gwynnie has not had a lot of "fun" since she lost her sight, so I will declare bringing the puppy over a "good move" no matter what negative little things happen.

Scrunchy adores Rose, too, and they chase each other and play, fight, and squabble for much of the day. The puppy slides all over the floor chasing him. And they are setting boundaries well. Scrunchy wanted to be the King, but I think the fact that Rose is actually already bigger than him has made a bit of an impression.

Of course, many of us human types are drawn to good ole Buddy, because he is calm, reasonable and easier to pet (I don't have to bend down to reach his gigantic head). He has been sleeping on the floor next to me at night, and as soon as I get used to his noises, I think that will be great.

I will try to get some good photos of all the dogs playing. It's really cute.

Rose, being 4 months old and all that, is getting into stuff, so I requested that she be crate trained. Lee gamely went out and bought a monster crate. It went incredibly poorly the first night, but once we brought the crate into my room (lovely decor item, but it does hold the spare pillows), she settled. Last night she was just great until time to wake up (the time we usually get up). She has started to try to dig up the carpet when no one is around, so we'll have to crate her when there's no one to supervise her from now on. It is just a good idea with puppies, and I know that crate training saved a lot of my house's stuff when Gwynnie and Scrunchy were young. (Of course they DID chew some stuff, and the carpet Rose dug up was started by Scrunchy--not insinuating I had perfect puppies, no no no.) Really, Rose is a lovely little dog (future big dog), and I would not want to get rid of her.

Everything else is pretty good. I have been a bit testy, but Lee has been sweet about it. All the Men have been helping out with shopping, the kids, and cleaning. Everything will be fine.

Thank you, by the way, for the supportive comments this week. They mean a lot to me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Learning to Be Angry

I put a tarot image up here, because it's what I want to focus on. The lady in the Strength card is controlling a "wild beast" but not through brute force. Rather she is controlling it via her love, patience and intellect. She cares for it, and it can tell. I'd like to learn how to control the angry beast in me a little better, because it seems I am just not quite there yet.

I've had lots of practice messing up how I deal with anger in the RM situation. I'd be patient, kind, caring and firm, but eventually I'd lash out, and because I had not had much practice in getting that angry before, I was unable to handle it constructively. I did eventually learn to bring up strong concerns earlier, to not let my hot buttons get triggered so easily, and to use all the skills I already had to deal with his explosions pretty well (my anger at him came, for the most part, when he got irrational, misunderstood situations, and blamed me). I felt it worth the effort, since I lived in the same house with him and really did need to learn to get along.

Well, you see, I do not live in the same house with the STBX woman. And I am coming to see that I feel a stronger need to fight unjust treatment when it comes to those I love than I do when it comes to me. When the STBX treats Lee irrationally, misunderstands situations (on purpose, as a manipulative tool) and engages in blaming behavior, it triggers MY defenses. Then, if Lee reacts to her like I used to react to Jeff (just going along with her so prevent a confrontation), then I get all righteously indignant that he should NOT do as I do (did) but should do as I SAY! See, it sounds funny when I type it out, but I just want to help him become the strong, confident person he really can be when not dominated by an angry vindictive person who is used to getting her way by intimidation and passive-aggressive behavior. That is the kind of energy I do not want in my life.

But, I am not coping like Super Suna on this front. Shit, I kicked a soda machine, like a petulant child but with very big Doc Martens on when I found out the latest stunt the Drama Queen of All Time decided to pull. A lot of it is frustration that I can't deal with this stuff myself (it is not my thing to do, in any case). I am not pleased that as a result of her manipulation of HIM, I am also being manipulated (I am getting two additional dogs before my home and possessions were ready to get them). And I want to support Lee and hold him up so he can do the best he can, not make him feel bad. I am afraid my anger at the STBX's ways of interacting might come across as anger at HIM for not "doing something" about it (it doesn't help that I said, in frustration, yesterday, "make her go away"). I am not angry at Lee, just hoping he can get through this stuff in such a way that will minimize future contact with the negative energy that does neither one of us any good.

Because I have to admit this: after the treatment I received from the people at Ye Olde Spiritual Community, the deceptions and unkindnesses I dealt with at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization, and the difficulty I had getting through my own divorce (yes, yes, I learned a lot from all of this), and what I learned during the difficult times with RM, I do not want to bring game-playing, manipulative and vindictive energy into my life. I am a little irritated at myself for letting that happen.

On the other hand: the world's full of that kind of negative crap, and you can't avoid it altogether, just try to learn to deal with it better. It is so many people's primary mode of interaction that you can't avoid it altogether. I just want none of it in my "inner circle" of people I have to deal with closely. I guess I will need to do a ritual to separate the STBX energy from my personal inner circle, while allowing Lee to gradually remove it from his at his own pace.

And: Lee's personal energy has NONE of those features I want to avoid. Absolutely none--it is probably what first drew me to him. Since I am so close to him on so many levels, I am very, very confident that he truly is honest, incredibly kind, endearingly flawed in ways that match my own flaws, and in many ways strong. It's just hard to get out of a pattern of playing weak to avoid pain. Now, really, how can I judge THAT personality trait, since it is such a strong one in me?

So, I am sitting at work, watching the outside temperatures fall, waiting for Lee to bring the immense yet sweet dogs, one with needle-like puppy teeth poised to gnaw at my chairs and tables, so they can live at my house. In my car. Which means STBX knows my car now. Oh well, driving mine in to work at noon today seemed like a good idea at the time. It was not covered by an inch of ice.

I plan to learn a lot about changing locks, restraining orders, and such to try to help prevent her from pulling future Dramatic Stunts like camping out at Lee's house without his permission wailing, "the dogs are in DANGER!" (yeah, right--many PEOPLE have less food, shelter and attention...he was out there every day but ONE, when he would have been endangering his own life to go out--how can a dead dude feed and house animals?). I do not plan to play her games, and this is her last chance to give it a try. Lee sees that when you stand up to a bully, they back down. And I certainly know that first hand in my own home.

Just wish me luck this evening. I hope everyone gets along as my house becomes more and more full. I just want it to be full of love. I need to get back to the Strength card, and deal with all this stuff with love and patience. Tough love.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snowy Day in Austin Town

Yep, it even snowed today, pretty flakes. Unfortunately, that was surrounded by sleet, freezing rain and other less pleasant kinds of precipitation.

The picture at left is Work Boy #2's windmill from yesterday morning. Doesn't it look cool that all the blades have icicles? That's because it kept spinning all night.

So we have all been staying home and feeling cooped up for a couple of days. We have enough food, so all is well, and everyone's been splitting up the cooking. I did 5 loads of laundry yesterday, and today cleaned out my closet and lingerie drawers while Lee cleaned out some other drawers. RM gave him half the closet his clothing is in, so there is now at least space for Lee's clothing. Apparently he lives here now.

And that leads to the dog problem. We left them a lot of food and water on Sunday before the weather got bad, and they have access to the large kitchen area, with pillows to lie on and stuff. But we were unable to get out yesterday, nor should we today. This has led to hysterical phone calls and passive-aggressive emails from the STBX that Lee is "abusing" the animals. We aren't particularly happy with the arrangement, either, and are getting a doggie door and gates so we can bring them here ASAP. We did not plan on a severe weather emergency popping up before we could get the house puppy proofed. Sigh. So, even though it's incredibly dangerous out, Lee is poking his way to the house to check on the animals.

What really galls me is that the STBX thinks that the way to get Lee to do stuff is to send ME email telling me what a bad person I am if I do not get him to do what she tells me to do, and threatening, "I will know if you read this email." Yeah, sure, she'd know if I were stupid enough to accept the "read receipt" message. If I click "never," she does not ever get to know. I digress. He'd planned to go to the house today anyway, but now it will look like STBX is "right" and make her feel all self satisfied. Sigh, this should not matter to me. I am letting her draw me into her dysfunctional drama. So, I'll just stop that right now. Lee will do what is right because it is right, and really, who cares how anyone else feels as a result?

Interestingly, I came to find out later that the real reason the STBX was not happy had nothing to do with starving doge--it was that her money to pay her lawyer hadn't gotten there yet. Gee, I sure wish my ex had paid all of MY fees for me. I mean, I was to poor pitiful spouse whose partner left her because he found his soul mate and announced he had never actually loved ME. But no, I went out and did the divorce myself to save us both big bucks, because even when emotionally wounded I am not an idiot.

And in case you were worried, Lee made it to and from the distant house OK by driving very slowly, to discover that the dogs were just fine. They have more water and food and got petted a lot. Grumble. But he checked on the dogs because it was the right thing to do, not because some harpy attacked his girlfriend and told her to tell him to go there. OK, I will drop this topic.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sweet 16 and not interested in getting kissed

How could you be thinking about kissing when you have Guitar Hero to play for hours and hours? It's a good thing, I guess, since the previous game he was obsessing over for Christmas must be about finished. Anyway, that's the 16-yr-old with his new haircut and new "guitar."
Hey, I like that game, though--all the music is from my generation!
We've all spent the Older Boy's 16th Birthday/MLK Day holiday at home, because the weather got scary here and they sent us all home. Lee and I did crawl into work, but crawled back soon thereafter. Lee is feeling better, but I seem to have the sinus attack germ now, so I am very glad to be home and medicated.
One more of the "milestones" of getting through the transition to a new partner is finally over, too. I finally told my dad about Lee. I think he's thrilled that I asked RM to move along, but probably not thrilled I have a new dude already. I am perfectly aware that it has to be tiresome for there never to be a break between dudes, but honest, this one was different, I swear. Honest. Hee hee. Dad seems to be OK, though my stepmother has a weird issue with her foot that they can't resolve. She will be 70 tomorrow. Wow. My family is aging. We all are.
At least we are proving we can stand each other sick. And having a fun day of laundry and household catch-up. For once, all the websites I do are caught up, I owe no other work, and I can just relax a bit. Well, and think about how I would like to get a new refrigerator sooner rather than later. Ours is still unhappy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I am feeling cozy today, so here's a photo of me in my kitchen, surrounded by things I like, wearing my new Silk Garden tunic, the coziest thing I ever made. The sweater was done top-down using one of the newer shades of Noro Silk Garden, with the edges in Cash Iroha in a neat greenish-blue shade. The increase line looks especially sharp, since I used left-slanting and right-slanting raised increases, creating a lovely pattern. The cuffs and other edges use a seed sticth/stockinet "rib" from one of the knitting on the edge books. After I finished the sweater, I bravely threw it in the washer, which softened the fabric incredibly, and made it a bit "hazy." It didn't really felt, just softened.
I like the picture. It shows all sorts of things about me. I am in my kitchen, which I like a lot. There is a pansy trivet on the left, representing one of my collections, and a trivet shaped like a pentacle on the right, representing my pagan interests. Plus you can see at least two baskets I collect. And there's a tangelo, representing healthy food! And my nice new haircut!

As for knitting, right now I am working on the set for the former coworker's twins. I have made two hats and am now on the first little dress. Little, heh. The ruffled border started out at a whopping 424 stitches. I now have "just" 212, and will continue to decrease up the dress. It's a one-year-old size, done on, as you would guess, very small needles. I'll show a picture of the completed pink hat in a few days.

It's icky outside--threatening freezing rain, so we are all staying inside. After cooking chili with Suna's cornbread last night for me and RM, Lee, even though he isn't feeling well, is making fajitas again for Older Son's 16th birthday dinner. Younger Son and I made him a fun cake--the classic chocolate cake you mix right in the pan. Tomorrow is the actual day, so I'll post a photo then. We had a meeting scheduled tomorrow night, so had planned to celebrate tonight, but I think it will be weathered-out.

I am happy with myself today. I sang "Abraham, Martin, and John" at Ye Olde Spiritual Community this morning, and did better than I thought I would. No amplification, even, so I had to personally drown out the choir singing "ooh" in the background. And Bill of my singing group got really sick and could not play the guitar, so Lee stepped up and did an awesome job on that. I think a lot of folks are really glad he got dragged into the community. I feel like my self esteem is saying, "Hi Suna, you don't totally suck!" We had to cancel practice for the dreaded "singing at a marathon gig" today, and had planned to record some of that for those of you BEGGING to hear us sing (actually for Lee to try to learn the songs that the other two guys keep buzzing through quickly), but we'll try to do it again. Caveat: these are folks doing music for fun, not pros.

So, I hope you all are having a good MLK Day weekend, if you are in the US. I am getting the rest I wanted so badly, so I am a happy camper.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Personality Plus!

I meant to post this last week and I forgot. When we were doing the "what world leader are you?" test, I also looked at some of the other tests on that site. I decided to look up my Myers-Briggs type (they call it Jungian), and totally cracked up at the completely depressing way they characterized INFP (that would be me, Work Boy 2, borderline EM and Lee depending on what day he takes the test). Read this:

creative, smart, idealist, loner, attracted to sad things, disorganized, avoidant, can be overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings, prone to quitting, prone to feelings of loneliness, ambivalent of the rules, solitary, daydreams about people to maintain a sense of closeness, focus on fantasies, acts without planning, low self confidence, emotionally moody, can feel defective, prone to lateness, likes esoteric things, wounded at the core, feels shame, frequently losing things, prone to sadness, prone to dreaming about a rescuer, disorderly, observer, easily distracted, does not like crowds, can act without thinking, private, can feel uncomfortable around others, familiar with the darkside, hermit, more likely to support marijuana legalization, can sabotage self, likes the rain, sometimes can't control fearful thoughts, prone to crying, prone to regret, attracted to the counter culture, can be submissive, prone to feeling discouraged, frequently second guesses self, not punctual, not always prepared, can feel victimized, prone to confusion, prone to irresponsibility, can be pessimistic

The ones that amused us most are highlighted. We wrote on our little white board at the office, "We like the rain," and Lee inserted "really" into it. So when we are feeling down, we just say, "I like the rain," and laugh.

Anyway, boy howdy, this makes me feel like a winner.

I looked at a couple of others, and realized they were pretty negative, too, so it makes me feel better, but when I want a laugh, I look at my printout of the characteristics, which I pinned to my cubicle wall.

To find your own, go here and click your type above my depressing description. If you don't know your type,
go take a test.

Friday, January 12, 2007

More Pride of Son

Aww, isn't he cute? Today was the Younger Boy's big day in the sun. In the morning he got a citizenship award at school, for being so helpful in his multimedia class. The Older Boy never got one, in all three years of middle school (even though, of course, he was a model citizen--just never stood out enough, and each teacher only gets to nominate one kid per 6 weeks). So, that was like a cattle call, but nice, and his teacher really said some nice things about him to me. I am SO grateful this guy decided to be a middle school multimedia teacher. He has created a safe place for some of these nerdy kids to go before school and during homeroom to hang out, and is so supportive of these kids.

This same teacher is the one who encouraged Younger Boy to do the art that got him these Reflections awards he's been getting. The photo shows his art award at the District level, which he got last night in a fairly fancy ceremony at the Performing Arts Center (woo). The judging for the region is next month. The award is really nice, and is engraved on the back. This kind of recognition has to be good for a boy who was barely functional in 4th grade. It's so nice to see him smiling and happy, and really doing fine with all the changes (the entire Peaceful Commune went to the ceremony--that's RM in the background, while Lee took the picture). Now I just need to get him to stand up straight. He is growing so fast, and has that teen slump happening.

Things are actually going pretty well, though I am a little overwhelmed with "things to do" this week. Wow, was yesterday full, for example:

  • Award ceremony 7:45am
  • Pre-interview for web job 9:30am
  • work
  • Free lunch and Swagfest 11:30am (got laser pointer pen and ViewMaster with scenes of Windows Vista!)
  • work
  • Meeting with legal dept 2 pm
  • work
  • Update Eddie Collins website the second I get home
  • Listen to RM vent about being unable to find a job or place to live and how depressing that is, without mentioning how awkward the living situation is becoming
  • Second award ceremony 7 pm
  • Cram food into selves 8:15pm
  • Rehearse with Singing Boys 8:30 pm
  • Intense Couple time...10 pm-2am

Note that left no downtime. Today of course, I would ideally cram updating the knitting shop website, going to Barnes and Noble, going to feed Lee's dogs, the Live Oak Coffeehouse, and shopping for undies in the hours after work. Oh sure, yeah. My current belief is that many of these items will not happen. I just need to knock off some of these things. And lately weekends are crammed, too. I hope tomorrow there is SOME optional time. The plan is to work on one of our houses, depending on how much rain there is.

Exciting, huh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Seeing Your Oldest Friend

Well, so as to not hurt any tender animal feelings, here's a picture of Lee's other dog, Buddy. He is immense but very gentle. His worst habit (other than shedding) is going "whuff" and sort of randomly dispersing dog spittle all over the place. But, it's sorta cute.

It has been a quiet couple of days, other than some progress on the job front. I guess it's time to fire up the good thoughts again, since I am applying to two jobs that Lee recommended me for (so good to have friends at a company you want to work for), and we were all told that the chance of new positions opening up again in our department is now very, very good. I still would prefer to work right where I am, so my fingers are crossed. Ideally, Work Boy #2 and I would both get positions, but it could never be as fun as sitting right across from each other and yakking while we work. There ARE disadvantages to the larger cubicles.

I had a nice time last night seeing my oldest friend (I guess he's the person I have known the longest with whom I am still in touch), Steve. He was my office mate and friend throughout graduate school. So, I know the exact day I met him--the first day of school in August 1980. Anyway, he and his partner were in town for a really boring academic/business kinda conference, so we went to the Arboretum area to have dinner with them and another friend of theirs. I really didn't get to talk to him much, so I wish I could see him again without feeling like I was monopolizing the conversation and boring all the other folks. I always have a lot to talk to Steve about. He educated me in a lot of stuff (he was an "older" student, ten years older than me--I went straight to grad school from college), so I am grateful to him in many ways. Also he is SUCH a patient friend--he has watched me go through a LOT of boyfriends and husbands. All of them, actually.

Steve and his former girlfriend (before he decided to just be gay) introduced me to all sorts of games, because they were huge game addicts. And liqueurs. Mmm, they used to have a million of them. And Judy loved to cook, so I learned a lot about being adventurous with food from her. He and our other office mate, James, used to tell me all sorts of stuff about religion, since both of them had studied it a lot (Steve went to Lutheran seminary and James was a deacon in the Korean Presbyterian church). Heh, who needs a church when you can just ask the guys in the closet-sized room with you? I taught Steve to crochet, and he has made all sorts of complex doilies and stuff. Still crocheting. Steve and I traveled a lot together, to conferences and to visit Judy once she moved to Ohio. So, he's someone I have spent a LOT of time with. RM and I visited him and his partner in Las Cruces when we went on our trip to California (much hilarity there--RM could not sleep at all at their house since it was not set up to his unique standards). That was the last time I saw him until yesterday.

I hope I can keep some of my current friends a long time and not lose them, like I have lost my college and most grad school friends. But it takes work, and it is so easy to get caught up in current stuff...

Monday, January 8, 2007

Cuteness and My Passive Aggressive Tendencies

Obviously the cuteness in this post title refers to this little being. It's Rose the Puppy, sitting in the winter sun. I took some pictures of her so we could remember her when she was "small" (she already weighs 22 pounds).

I really enjoy Lee's puppy and his other dog, too (very big, but docile fellow). It will take some getting used to being around big dogs!

I am so glad last weekend is over. Just a lot of stressful stuff, mixed in with fun stuff, the funeral (a lovely one), blah blah, but mainly a lot of stuff. So I am just plain tired and staying home tonight. I am trying to enjoy myself, but mainly am fascinated as I watch RM trying to befriend Lee. They have chatted about musical instruments, jobs, their lack of football genes...I guess I was hoping Lee'd rub RM the wrong way so that he'd be more encouraged to "move on" in a nice, subtle way. But, no, we are one Peaceful Family Commune here. At least the kids feel secure. Sigh.

On the other side, Lee had to go visit the STBX and give her the copies of those papers. It was a bit weird. I went with him, just in case it all went afoul, and had hoped to just sit and wait, but of course she saw me and that didn't go over well. After the ordeal of having to go sit in a pretty spot and listen to her tell him what he did wrong some more, she then insisted on talking to me because she wanted to "respond" to the email I wrote telling her to leave me alone. I didn't really want to do that, because I sure do hate confrontation, but I realized if I didn't do it, there would just be more issues with that. So, I gripped a sharp pen in my hand in case she went off on me (I don't trust angry people), and sat there and watched her talk to me. I didn't really understand what she was talking about, other than "Lee is not trustworthy," but I got through it and she turned and left, so I didn't have to respond. That let her feel like she had the last word (the lesson I learned SO well on Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization email lists) and like she had control. Good. I don't need any of that. But I am afraid I will have nightmares of her looking down at me, shaking and with so much hatred in her eyes. Oh well, I am sure many would think I "deserve" it. I had something to do with her life changing, and I know that is not pleasant.

Some of the stuff Lee has told me she said has brought out some of my less pleasant features. He says she thinks my old blog "proves" we had a relationship as early as last summer. That is bullshit. I have looked through the entire thing and can identify precisely the day in which I realized that my feelings really were more than friend ones. And I can identify exactly when we talked about potentially being more than friend. And that was in November. Within days of when he talked to her about wanting out, and I told RM about me and Lee. It was SO important to me to NOT have this relationship start out sneaky or by lying. So, I decided to go back through the old blog and annotate it for the implication-impaired. Any time I talk about me or Lee, I am explaining what happened and what I was thinking at the time. She said she was desperately wanting a "chronology." So I will give her one.

If that is passive aggressive, well so be it. I will feel better making things very very clear. Bad Suna.

Saturday, January 6, 2007


I'm just thinking today. It's been nice lately, with life settling into more of a pattern, which I like. Just to feel more "at home" and not constantly doing "the first time we ever did this, the first time we ever did that."

And I am glad we are getting some of the hurdles taken care of. Like meeting relatives and such. I was glad to get the hurdle of talking to Lee's son over with. That one was a bit of an emotional challenge, but ended up going well--he seems to have turned out to be a very interesting and unique person who will be fun to get to know if things work out (I worry that perhaps he is hearing so much maternal stuff that it will be hard to remember there are two sides to every story, but on the other hand, he seems quite capable of doing that, so perhaps I should find something else to worry about, LOL).

Another hurdle is that the divorce papers were filed this week, so that is a big one. It's really true--at some point we may actually be a couple that people can't tsk-tsk about. I know that is an emotional thing for Lee, and certainly his STBX is taking it that way...but it's one of those things you just have to get through.

There is even progress toward the hurdle of RM finding alternate accommodations. He is talking hard to his friends in the Virgin Islands about spending a few months there. Oh torture, he'd have to spend time on a 51' yacht. But of course there are so many reasons not to...the heat gives him rashes, blah blah. At least that no longer irritates me so much. See, new relationship = good. It will all work out, I think. Whoa, I was optimistic!!

Must go teach knitting, then go to the funeral for the sweet man from church who died last week. I guess we are singing at it...more later.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

So, What famous leader are YOU?

This test TOTALLY cracked me up, folks. Especially when Tina came out as Saddam Hussein. I said to Work Boy #2, "I bet I am Mother Theresa." HA HA HA. Look at me, I'm a Macedonian dwarf. I have got to start being more ruthless. BTW, Work Boy #2 came out as Abe Lincoln, "a mild mannered assassination victim" (only on the test they spelled "assassination" wrong).

Please, dear readers, report your results to me.

Lee reports that he is Abe Lincoln, too. I am surrounded by such nice guys.

Why'd I do that?

Why did I post tons and tons of details from a period of a few days? I know it's just daily living in my odd little household (I hope some day it becomes a little less odd, but it will never be "normal."

I think perhaps it was just to remind myself of how much good there is in every day, so I will stop thinking about the challenges so much. I do dwell on challenges a bit.

I did leave out some details, like backing into a freshly painted cabinet and ruining a pair of jeans (old), how cute Rose the puppy has become, and what wonderful, reassuring conversations I have with my dearest friend in the world late at night.

In any case, I'll try to be a bit more concise. But, hey, it's my blathering.

Thanks to my lovely coworker for taking the nice photo of me and Lee on the Solstice, an important day to us. You can see how pretty and festive my cubicle was, too.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year

Hey, what did you do for New Year's Day? We played Scrabble. That's me, EM (aka Lee, forget these nicknames--he has commented enough) and Younger Boy playing, with Older Boy serving as Scrabble Consultant. It really was fun, even if RM did not like it when Lee used the word "aler." So, I guess you can see that things are already settling down fairly nicely. Our weird little family commune (including my sister) had a nice New Year's meal together and it all went fine.

Mundane Stuff from the Last Few Days

What's been going on other than that? I went to Lee's on Thursday after work and we ended up deciding to paint the kitchen cabinets. We did our first picking of colors together, and it was really fun and funny. We matched his china, which is roses. What cracked me up is that after careful matching, we ended up with the colors I would have picked off the top of my head--a color like a light butternut squash for the cabinet doors, a deep rose for contrast, a pale sage and for walls, a creamy yellowish white. Then I REALLY laughed when we got back and realized the creamy white is exactly the color already all over the kitchen. It looks FINE in small doses. We spent a lot of time Thursday night working on cabinets, then having some fun, then working some more. We knew we were overly in love when we were having fun and smiling while cleaning cabinets with a bleach solution. We got the second coat up on Friday morning. Now he's working on painting all the insides of the cabinets white. A huge improvement. The original plan was to replace all the cabinets, but since there is no long term plan to stay there, paint seems like a better idea now.

Next, we braved a really horrible rainstorm on Friday night to go help my sister install the printer we picked out for her. She fixed a delicious meal featuring mushrooms and shrimp on pasta. (We have been eating a LOT of mushrooms lately--the kids are reveling in the fact that Lee likes eggs and mushrooms). Anyway, the sister and the boyfriend got along just fine (they bonded over the fact that when they ended long marriages everyone said, "Oh we never liked your spouse," but had never told them before). So, that was one more item off the list of "potentially awkward things we have to do."

Saturday, while he painted and waited for his ex to come get some stuff, I went to the yarn store as usual and taught a nice lady some knitting, and worked on finishing my Silk Garden top-down sweater. I DID finish it, and will have a photo soon! I even washed it, which made it very soft, but a bit blocky. I love wearing it. Then I went home and knitted and knitted. I got a little peeved that what I thought would be a short time with the ex turned out really long, but got over it once I realized it was a misunderstanding. Sigh, if only SHE had gotten over it...we ended up having a perfectly nice evening.

Next on that list of potentially awkward things was meeting some of his relatives. This happened Sunday (New Year's Eve), when we eventually got in the car and drove to somewhere near Ponder, Texas for his niece's wedding (we just got a slow start--went to church and listened to live New Age music that went on and on and on, then came home and enjoyed mushroom omelets that the Younger Boy requested...eventually got to leave). It was a most interesting event, with many fun bikers and many more really heavy smokers. And lots of fun liquor, which I tried to not over enjoy, but the Everclear-soaked pineapple was GOOD. It was in the biggest manufactured home I ever was in--like two double-wides together. Lee's favorite niece was a very sweet woman, and her new husband seemed very nice. Their respective kids were all extremely cute boys, and dressed so cutely. They did great in the wedding. Everything was red and white, and there was a path of white fake snow and rose petals leading to the altar set-up. And the minister was a hoot--funny as our Chuck, and he had obviously known both of them a long time. I get a little weirded out at weddings (due to my ISSUES with patriarchal institutions and bad experiences with them), so Lee had to endure a post-wedding meltdown from me, but we still ended up having a good time at our scary little motel. Oddly, the honeymooners were at the SAME hotel but in the "fantasy suites." But, the good news was that I met at least a few relatives and was nice enough to them to pass muster. One more off the list.

Funny fact: we actually slept through our first New Year midnight, but woke up later and said "Happy New Year."

We drove back on New Year's Day, and it was a lovely day. We had a nice talk about hopes and dreams for the future, and I did a lot of knitting on the first hat for the twins. The pattern is great. Photo to come--I did finish it. I had brilliantly pre-c00ked the peas and greens, so it was easy to get the New Year's meal going when we got back to my house. My sister brought a ham for RM, and we were all set. I am so grateful that everyone is getting along well. The kids can see that no one is rejecting poor EM, and that he and Lee are respectful of each other. So they are pretty happy, too. We just had a ton of fun playing games and goofing off later!

The only thing that marred it all was that I got a really disturbing email from the STBX woman. Sent to their son, too. Mostly I was creeped out that she talked about reading all my blogs, referred to my children by their names, and wanted us all to have a bit ole email chat. I don't think so. After all those years in the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization, I know enough to not engage in THAT kind of email exchange. Anything you say can and will be twisted into meaning something else. I have to say that the email ruined my nice day. I do not want to let someone have the power to do that to me. So, this won't continue.

Back to work today. We spent a lot of time worrying that the son had not answered phone calls. But eventually, tonight, got through to him. He wanted to talk to me, so I did. One more potentially awkward moment off the list. I think it went fine and we liked each other fine. It's just awkward for him, I am sure. He does not need to be put in the middle of these things. I reassured him he did NOT have to take sides, and that of course he should be there for his mother. I did mention email ethics. But, he seemed real nice. And I figure it will all work out eventually.

When I realize the STBX had sent ANOTHER email cc-ing all the world (she seems obsessed with "proving" Lee told a lie about something), I went to the endless draft email to her I had written, cut most of it out (see, I DO learn lessons from myself, email pals), and said please don't continue. I am not participating in "he said, she said." If she keeps at it, I just won't respond. That has always worked well.

All right, this is too long. I'll post a nice happy picture or some knitting next time. Things are not bad, not bad at all. Just dealing with those consequences of our decisions that we knew we'd have to deal with.