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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Here is a lovely picture of the "woodland" in our back yard. Note that the basis of this is a grove of escarpment live oak trees. And that they are very, very greenon the ends. That is because they are abloom, and when they are blooming they create extremely copious amounts of pollen. Today it is breezy, and you can see what looks like smoke coming from the trees whenever there is a gust.

(In the foreground you can see the absence of grass that was caused by how thick the trees used to be--that's where we planted grass seed, though much of it washed away in the flood day before yesterday. But some remained, so maybe we will have grass this year!)

This is the time of year in Austin when it is really futile to wash a car. In ten minutes it will become greenish yellow again, so why bother? Already the gazing balls and gnomes are yellow, though they are too far off to really see.

I am very, very proud of how the woodland looks right now. The understory trees are budding out, the inland sea oats are fairly high already, the wandering jew is poked out and turning purple, and the false indigo is nodding all over the places it has naturalized. What you do not see are blackberry vines, Virginia creeper or briars, because I have murderized them all, other than two decorative creepers I have graciously allowed to go up the oaks until I pull them down before they bloom. You will, perhaps, spot a grape vine, but I assure you I murderized it, too. Unfortunately, it is trying to reproduce, so I will have to take RoundUp to it once there are leaves. I have been trying to get rid of that vine for ten years now. Persistent.

Also invisible in the photo, but definitely present, are tree worms (don't know what they really are called). These are the inchworm-like insects that hatch from oak galls, then hang on a delicate thread, as they wend their way to the ground (where I hope the 8 zillion blue jays will eat them). These always appear right around the time of my friend Austin's birthday bash, making sitting under the trees at the church and jamming less than pleasant. You always have to be checking for worms. If you sit very quietly at this time of year you can actually hear them landing. Ick. Sounds like rain. Yuck.

On a happier note, I am also sharing a picture of the Younger Boy, to prove he is also cute. Here he is wearing the hat his dad got him on Ebay from the Ukraine (wow, that person had great handwriting, judging from how well the package was addressed). Not sure what the fascination with Russia is, but he also got "learn Russian" DVDs. He's practicing--maybe eventually he can talk to Stephanie W.

But look how manly he has become at almost 14. And look at that skin! What a complexion! This picture was taken last week, before the oaks had budded out and after they lost all their leaves (yes, live oaks shed, in the spring).

I hope this will post, since an Internet glitch killed my first draft of this, and something Jeff was writing, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Good Attitude Bonus Day

I was going to put a lot of bird pix in here, since I have watched birds a lot today, but you can just imagine a female red breasted woodpecker and a Carolina wren in your own mind, OK? It WAS neat to see a woodpecker on my tree--I have not seen many around here.

What you do see is the Older Boy after his "bud" who is "a girl, Mom!" straightened it. Look how shiny it came out! Everyone says he looks "emo" in the picture. I think he looks like he stepped out of an anime comic. In any case, what a cutie.

I am enjoying my little "vacation" fairly well. I got two web sites all caught up and did my taxes today. My good attitude is paying off, I think, because I got a nice refund, even after paying self-employment tax on all my knitting teaching. It will get us through another unemployment week! Plus, lo and behold, I had misplaced an envelope containing a $600 check for escrow overpayment, and I found it during tax prep time. WOO! Another little cushion for the upcoming drought. Every little bit helps!

And speaking of that drought, not only do I have one interview next week, but I have two now! A local company that does software for nonprofits has me scheduled for next Monday! It's a place I would really like to work, and would be an easy commute to visit Lee for lunch (a bonus). So, that has made me extra hopeful. Glad I lit my "trabajo" candle for a while! So, I can see that by remaining calm and thinking positively, things have slowly begun to show improvement signs. Rockin'.

I am a bit worried about Younger Boy. He is having trouble sleeping. Otherwise, things are really good. It stopped raining and I am making bread. Last night, Younger Son and I made banana bread, too. It is such fun cooking together!

Old Blog News

Still working hard at adding posts from my old blog to this one. I also changed the title of this one back to "What, Suna's Not Knitting," which was the old title. The other one is now "Suna's Old Blog," and it will go away once I have all the posts transferred older. I need to warn you that on occasion, I will forget to post-date an old post and it will end up looking new. Let me know if you see any of those!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good Attitude Weekend Report

So, I said I'd report on my reasonable weekend. And I am very proud of myself for keeping up with my intentions to only let myself wallow in self pity a short time. I ended up having some wonderful times this weekend, and feeling fairly calm and hopeful.

I have to thank Lee for a lot of it. It is just so easy to have a nice time with him. I can remember sitting in the car at one point and thinking, "I am having fun!" We just did normal things, too, like shopping for plants, planning yard improvements and stuff. But he is so easy to be with, easy to talk to, and supportive, that almost anything we do is a fine time.

The back yard continues to improve. Lee has mowed and bagged twice, so the leaves are all off the ground. We got some grass seed, is the predicted flash flooding that ALWAYS comes whenever I get grass seed put down in the back yard!! However, all this got done this weekend:

  • Got some snapdragons and impatiens, plus more potted plants
  • Weeded ALL traces of Virginia Creeper, remnant blackberry, thorn and honeysuckle vine in front and back. All that is left, vine-wise are grapevines, which have to grow a bit so I can find and Roundup them (won't pull up). I know the VC will be back, but it is at least wounded now.
  • Put down newspapers in the part of the front bed where everything I ever planted died, other than weeds. Then covered it with lovely free oak leaf mulch from the formerly most shady part of the back yard, and planted snapdragons in it. Looks like an entirely new front yard.
  • Built a back step (the kids did it for us) so that it is easier for Buddy the Dog to get in and out. He is already walking better. I found the concrete pieces at Lee's old house, so it was free! See how thrifty we unemployed can be.
  • Built an inexpensive charcoal grill so we can have yummy grilled foods. Of course poor Lee had to grill in a downpour yesterday, but the chicken was divine. Jeff helped, and it was amusing to see the Men working together so well. Sigh, in some ways, it's not bad having them both here, when Jeff is in a good mood. Lee also got us one of those starter chimney things, so we do not have to use lighter fluid (yay). It is cool to see how those work (I have not had a charcoal grill in so long...but the gas one is totally DEAD.)
  • Put up a chain of nice lights to light up the back patio. Just have to get the extension cord set up so we can turn them on. Lee did a good job with chains and such, and they match the hanging basket chain.
  • Also got two more wrought iron decorations to put on the back of the house. It will look really nice.
  • We went out to Granger and got some tools from Lee's. Managed to fit them all in the garage, too. Soon we can build stuff.
Since the kids were with their dad this weekend, Lee and I went to dinner at Mesa Rosa (right across from our neighborhood). It was like our second real "date" ever. Sigh, I do things strangely. But it was nice. He was so sweet to me all night. We had one big and one small margarita, so were quite happy when we got home. We watched Saturday Night Live and laughed and laughed. Then we just had fun kidding with each other and playing around. We decided that perhaps the best way to watch SNL is slightly tipsy. Anyway, it was so nice to have plain ole fun in our own house, not having to be quiet or worry about anyone else being offended (Jeff was out, too).

Speaking of which, it looks like by mid May he will be totally out, and that he is going to take a "vacation" for much of the time between now and then. And he will put his stuff in storage. I am glad we just had to have "a talk" and not get cantankerous about it. He knows he needs to move on and look for real work and relationship opportunities. And Lee and I would sure like to be a more "normal" family unit. Sigh, if that divorce would just finalize, perhaps that dream will become more of a reality.

Good Attitude Pays Off

As I will post later, I have been having a good time and enjoying things pretty well. And I am so glad I have, since I got a call from the recruiter lady and she said that the "perfect candidate" from last week fell through and now the manager wants to meet with me! Next week! Which gives me some real vacation time this week and takes a lot of pressure off.

No, not going to stop looking for things, nor hoping that ALE comes through. But I am glad I didn't let myself get upset more than a little while. Things come through. It just takes a while.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Last Day at ALE

My last day at the job went really well. I am impressed at how well I managed to keep up good spirits and professionalism right until the end. One coworker even sent me a note about how well I did under the difficult circumstances. That was nice.

We continued in "business partner review" meetings and worked really hard on that, then ran off to revise all our materials in practically no time. I pitched in and helped out right until 3:55, when I said, "I quit." Ha ha, my hours were already actually expired--I just could not quit until I was done. I am really glad I got to finish at a "stopping point," rather than right in the middle of a project. That felt good.

After I turned in my badge, all the coworkers started slowly showing up at my now-bland cube. They just stood there shuffling around and chatting. It was really sweet. So I hugged them all and reminded them they'd see me on Monday at my "lunch." That sounds like it will be good. Lee invited all sorts of people!

After work I was just fine and enjoyed the rest of the day with the family. Older Boy's friends came over and it was very fun observing their teenager-i-ness. They seem like really good kids. Every time we snuck down to see what they were doing, they were fine. Playing cards, chatting, lying on the couch. Good kids.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lovely Craft Quote

I put a quote of the day gadget on my Google home page (which has a cute Japanese fox on it, going about its day, too). Today there was this lovely quote:

Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which
is not there.
- EH Gombrich

I think all quilters, knitters, crocheters and such should take this to heart! We are artists and poets!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Deja vu, all over again

Gee, I remember writing this last December. "You are a great candidate, but we picked someone else who was just PERFECT." So, one down, and the job I had been hoping for most is history.

Apparently I impressed them with my background and how I "sold myself" (remember, the lady didn't ask many questions so I TOLD her how I would fit their job), so the recruiter claimed they are shopping my resume to other departments at this place. Yeah, ALE said that, too. I am so wonderful and such a good candidate, but just not quite good enough. My feeling is that someone who had worked at that company before and knew all their proprietary software systems (which, of course, I don't know, having never worked there) suddenly applied--because the recruiter seemed genuinely surprised at the development. I think they thought they had a sale in me.

Oh well, I looked all day and applied to a couple more things. The recruiting company said they'd work extra hard to find me something, too. I will endeavor to take her word for it.

Sigh. I sure hear a lot about what a great gal I am (and appreciate it when not depressed and weary). I just wish someone would compensate me for something I can do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Interview reporting, Kid Stuff

This happy picture of my work team (with one extra crazed member) reminds me of what I lose on Friday. A really nice bunch of folks. We were posing for a crowd scene and practiced being happy, neutral and angry. They are all pretty funny. Aren't we all snappy dressers?

So, yes, I did two interviews today. The one scheduled for yesterday had been postponed. I sorta could tell they didn't have their heart in that one. I get the feeling they had already picked the other candidate and were just talking to me because they were supposed to. However, I had a lot of qualifications, so even though the interviewing lady didn't ask a lot of questions, I gave a lot of answers and explained my relevant experiences, just for the heck of it. That was the afternoon interview.
The morning one was marginally better, though equally short. It was just a screening interview, so I hope that what I did there was good enough to warrant an in-person one. The good thing about that job is they will decide soon, so I will not be in misery about either of these for very long. I'll look for more stuff tomorrow, I guess.

And I keep hoping something will work out at Dell, but now I really wonder if they like me as much as they said they did. I can't do much of that kind of thought process, though, because I am trying to be Ms. Positivity.

It's a little hard, though. Once again, Jeff lost out on a position, the one touring with a blues guitarist. He did come in second, though, out of a LOT of people. But as I learned at Dell in December, second doesn't get you food on the table. He had gotten bursitis from practicing so hard (or developed a convenient excuse to not to it, if you are cynical, but that was not my theory). Jeff still has an offer to work for his friends, and to stay at some house south of Austin for a few months. I will learn more about that later this evening.

And the Older Son is quitting lacrosse. That gives me mixed feelings, like I wish I had my damned money back from that pit of expensiveness. I really didn't like a lot that went on there, especially some of the junk some parents did, and the kids weren't real nice to Older Son (with notable exceptions of niceness). He does need exercise, so now it will be up to ME to sign us up for the community center so we can all exercise, assuming I develop cash flow. I need more exercise too, other than gardening and that nocturnal stuff, nudge nudge, wink wink.

Tonight was the Younger Son's pre-UIL (contest) concert. He did GREAT, including a song where he played cymbals non-stop the whole time. It was nice to see him have parts you could really hear in every song. He is so tall now. Sigh. The Older Boy's concert is Thursday. Keeps us busy, but the music is nice. The band sounded great.


Here is a post about trees. Gotta love 'em if you are a tree-hugging pagan type.

oak tree

I have been enjoying spring trees a lot. The first one you see here is the 2-centuray old oak in front of Lee's dad's church. Look at the size of that trunk. They have incredible oak trees down there, like where I came from--more water than here. I had really wanted to see the tree, so I am glad I had the chance. What a specimen. I didn't touch it, though. Odd for me.

redbud tree

The second picture is of the red bud in front of our house. It was a bit past its prime, but I'd lost where the camera was for a bit. I can't believe how much it has grown. I hope you can see that I have trimmed a lot and the yard is neat. I will take back yard pix when we are all done.

texas mountain laurel

The third image is the Texas mountain laurel next to the redbud. It finally looks like a tree (only 8 years!) and finally has a big, beautiful set of blooms, with that weird grape-soda smell. I am so happy it has at last become the tree I'd wanted. And it smells GOOD.

And that's all I wanted to say about trees. I sure do love trees, and spring in Texas.

Little Entries Coming Up: Stray Dog

It was a busy weekend and a lot of interesting things happened, so I am going to post a bunch of short things today.

Here I am somewhere in southeast Texas bonding with Lee's dad's pet cows. More on them later.

First Story: Stray Dog

So, this weekend after church, Lee and I went to visit his dad. We were still in Austin, driving down 183 when we saw ahead of us some cars driving really strangely. One car had a guy with his arm hanging out, straddling the far left lane and the shoulder (there was a wall next to that). Then a taxi was straddling the far left and middle lanes, and behind them was a construction truck with a flashing light, also slowing and blocking traffic. They were all weaving. Then we saw the dog--a very large yellow dog was high-tailing it in next to the center wall. We felt so sorry for it--looked panicked. I was dreading the end of the scene, too, since it looked to me like that dog was going to get hit eventually. Then we realized the driver of the first car had his arm out because he was trying to catch the dog. While driving. Next to a concrete barrier. The taxi and truck were helping by keeping cars away. I watched in horror as the guy kept missing the dog. I was afraid he'd hit it, since he had to drive so close to it. But, amazingly he did catch the dog! Then he slowed down, stopped and somehow managed to shove the dog into his car! Lee and I were afraid the dog would be so scared it would bite the guy, but it didn't. The last we saw, the car guy and the taxi guy were pulled over and talking. Probably thanking each other and congratulating each other. They were SO brave to help that poor animal. It made me all weepy.

And we were thinking, would we be brave enough to risk our own lives to save a dog like that? I don't know if I could drive that well, nor if I could hold such a big dog. Wow, those were kind and brave people. They were very skillful at not causing traffic to back up or people to hit each other. Luckily, the road was not too crowded, too, so you could see something was odd up ahead in plenty of time to slow down. Whew.

What a start to a trip! Plenty of adrenaline!

Other fun trip things

Here's a nice farm image, with decorative hay and tree.

I am glad the visit to Lee's dad went well. He is a very sweet man, and was quite fun to talk to. It's especially good when he gets going on politics--his obvious delight that everything he said I agreed with was a bonus. Really, it was pretty funny to me that he came to many of my conclusions from a different direction. It was a bit scary to go into such an unknown situation in an unfamiliar setting, but I did pretty well. I am getting more used to coping with change, I guess. About time. That's all I've been doing for a while now.

So, what else was fun? We ate some good food in Cuero, at a Mexican place with gigantic portions for tiny prices. And no decor. And breakfast at Lee's dad's favorite local hangout in Yorktown. It was fun to see everyone saying hi to him. Nice to see he is looked out for.

We drove around Cuero, and I have to say it was a cool little town. So many beautiful old houses, beautifully restored--both large and small. What do those people do for a living? Good question. Can't all be oil riches. I think a lot must be vacation or retirement homes. They are so lovely. It was also fun to listen to Lee and his dad point out everywhere they ever lived, and all these old places they had done things. Nice to learn people's histories.

I guess that's about it for general stuff. I'll write about trees eventually.

Cow Stories

I don't usually have a lot of interactions with cows, nor cow stories to tell, but this weekend there were cow tales aplenty.

Here we see Lee's dad petting Smart Cow's heifer. Smart Cow is in the back, looking on warily. Brown Cow is lying even farther back. These three cows are something like family pets--the last of his herd, which he keeps around because he likes them. They get to shelter in the garage area when it is wet or cold, so there is cow poop everywhere. But they are nice cows, and as you can see, very tame. Smart Cow came right up to us to check us out! (Lee's dad thinks she is very smart, so that is what I call her--she is also a very pretty cow). The baby is 14 months old and looks like her white father. She is still nursing--for once, an appropriate use of cow's milk for a toddler, ha ha. She's so big that it's hard to get down their to get milk, but she manages. It was nice to hang around with such friendly cattle.

(The cattle were way friendlier than the kitty, a lovely black-and-white barn cat. It hid behind a cabinet for hours and hours, then went outside and looked perturbed at us from a great distance until we left. We are told it really loves Lee's dad, and is great company. So he really doesn't live alone, after all!)

However, these were NOT the friendliest cattle we saw. Nope. We were driving to dinner in scenic Cuero and passed a farm where the family were fishing in their pond (tank in Texan). The mother was sitting off to the side in a lawn chair, watching. Along with HER pet cow. This cow had her head in the lady's lap, and the lady was petting and rubbing her. Both looked really happy. She kept it up quite some time, because she was still rubbing the cow's neck when we turned the corner. That's one friendly cow! We all got a real kick out of that scene.

Since it is the time of year when livestock are born, we saw a lot of young ones. Many teeny-weeny very white goats, some beautiful foals (lots of pintos), and oh so many calves. We saw three of them frolicking in a field with a mother cow, and they looked so much like Rose running around--sort of awkward but full of pep and abandon. Makes you realize how seldom you see happy livestock. There was a lot down where we were (and some sad ones in feed lots). It was most enjoyable to see all the abundant new life, though. Everything was VERY green, too. A good time of year to visit Farm World.

New Bird

Oh look, it's the Crested Caracara, known colloquially as the Mexican eagle (but NOT the national bird of Mexico, no sirree, that's the Golden Eagle or some actual eagle). This here bird is a falcon kinda raptor, and they have them down where Lee's dad lives. I thought they were ospreys, which they strongly resemble when sitting.

I am always excited when I see a new kind of bird, so I thought I'd post this one! Taxonomizing is my mind's favorite activity, apparently, and it was fun to see how it worked when I thought I had fit the bird into my neat little "osprey" category, then got the idea that maybe I was wrong (someone mentioned Mexican eagles in conversation). I had to run home and look it up in my bird book--and sure enough, the osprey's underwings are all white. BZZZT, failed taxonomy. I am all calm now, though, since I have a nice category of raptors with white wing tips whose wings are not shaped like buzzard wings. Go me.

Finished Object, part 1

This is a close-up view of my first placemat. The center is at the top. It's in lovely Peaches-n-Cream yarn, which Jody and I could not find more of over the weekend (eek). Must next try Wal-Mart.

This one was made according to the instructions, with the center starting out as a circle, which had to be sewn closed. It does not particularly look nice in the center, so I am trying other methods.

The rest of it looks pretty good, though, and it is placemat-sized. Lee ate off of it yesterday and didn't even spill sauce.

I started the second one yesterday, using the magic cast on for toe-up socks. The cast on looks gorgeous (will post a picture), but, after I was well into the mat, I realized the ends looked funny--they curve. Then it dawned on me that you actually start each "round" on a corner, not the middle, so the cast-on did not remain parallel. I have been thinking and thinking of how to get it all balanced, and think it will involve casting on one stitch at each end (the base stitch to the short sides of the placemat rectangle, then knitting until I get to where the round really should start. I should draw a picture. So, I figure that placemat #3 will actually be the first "good" one.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Yay, Interview

Quickly--after waiting all week and deciding to give up on that position, I did get a call from the recruiter and they want to do a phone interview on Monday for the job I am most interested in. They even changed it to include "change management," which cracked me up--they worried I had no experience at that. I guess I subliminally eliminated references to that in my resume after the experience my last year at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization. But, manage change, I did. Not well enough to suit Mr. Buzzword Factory, but well enough to say it's something I did.

Anyway, yay to me. And yay to Lee, as he got a good performance review. And yay to NJ for getting a fine new job.

I am also thinking hard about some friends who have had some bad job things happen to them--one had to quit after being treated very poorly by her boss, and another, a teacher, got a reassignment out of the blue. I was surprised at how strongly I felt for them both. I really know how both of them feel, having been in both situations.

Tick Tock

So, I am finding this British butler clock that Jennifer linked to on her blog mighty entertaining. If you click the link, be sure to go to the page with additional sayings and the hilarious FAQ page (where you find out that the clock really doesn't like getting new batteries and insists on going off every 12 hours). I can't stop laughing at what the clock says.

And, I think life would be good if I could be awakened by Stephen Fry every morning.

I wish I had the time and resources to find all the cool things Jennifer(beanmom) finds. She is the most Internet-connected one human I ever knew.

Lee and I were thinking of US American versions of the clock, such as the redneck, hip-hop, President Bush, Hollywood psuedo-starlet and such versions. Ooh, a William Shatner as Kirk, or an entire Star Trek alarm clock would be fun. Enough...

Thursday, March 15, 2007



These little marigolds represent all the flowers we planted in the back yard on Monday when we took a day off from work (and Lee even got paid for it!). Flowers tend to cheer me up, too, and the word "cheery" seems to be my word of the week. I used it every day in my tarot blog this week. No telling why, unless I am subliminally trying to keep my own spirits up.

It's getting harder and harder to keep plugging away, even though I can tell myself that one of the many positions I am up for will come through eventually (the recruiting company is still working on that interview for the good one--not out of it yet). I can also tell myself that Austin's Largest Employer will end the hiring freeze in the next week or two, then I can finally either get the job I interviewed for across the street from here or get another one in my own dept. (Noting that with the quality of projects assigned lately, that looks less and less appetizing.) I only have 40 hours left on the contract, so it's really coming down to the wire, though. Hard to believe it has been over 8 months already! And I got my big love prize from this job, anyway, so it will go down as a success, regardless.

What is going on? Last weekend was good. We really got a lot accomplished in the yard. Lee has been so industrious and patient, and it shows. You can walk ALL over the back yard now. What a guy! Here's a blow-by-blow of recent days:


Last Friday was a coffeehouse concert, the Austin Lounge Lizards. We coped with the crowds pretty well, and Lee pitched right in and helped with set-up and keeping food available on the break. My friend Janet showed up later, and that was a big bonus. She seems so happy in Arkansas—it’s weird to have both of us happy in relationships, for the first time since we have known each other. It’s just good to see good things happening to your friends. After the concert, we all went to Juniors, where a drunken softball dad with a blue and yellow face (local high school colors) tried to sell us gutters. I was in such a good mood that I found it VERY amusing.

Yes, I was in a really good mood most of the past week. Not sure why, either. I guess having Lee around and thinking positive has worked.

Saturday I did the usual knitting, but at least taught a different class. I got two people on their way to making cute cable bags and another one making a nice lace dishcloth. Woo. Jody didn’t show up again, so that was a bummer. It was a quiet Saturday, so I got to have some nice conversations, though. Always good to relax. After a bit of yard work, Lee and I went over to Bill and Carolyn’s, where we joined the rest of Trey Bone plus spouse, along with Janet VS and Craig F (minus spouses). Mostly it was a good time, though I have to be careful around some church folks, so was a bit guarded. We drank Bill’s home brewed beer and ate homemade pizza. That was quite fun. After everyone played darts, to Bill’s very specific rules, we had birthday cake for Lee. I had bought a black-and-white cake from the grocery store, and it was WAY better than we’d have expected! Paying extra for a “premium” cake means good frosting and better cake. People even had seconds.

Sunday was Lee’s actual birthday. Whew, we are the same age again! To celebrate, we skipped church and had our own fun. We took the Younger Boy with us for a day out, since his brother was off on his band trip to New York. We first saw every house Lee ever lived in within the Round Rock area. Then we went out to lunch at a good Chinese buffet (even the sushi was edible, and most buffet sushi is scary). That made YB’s day. After that we drove out into Hill Country and looked at redbud, plum and other blooming trees. We even saw a couple of very early bluebonnets. A little gift shop in Burnet called our names, so we stopped and found some gems amid the “interesting” overly Texas-themed items. We got a wooden wall plaque to put on the outside of the house (a floral pattern), a lovely mesquite chalice, and for me a lampwork beaded pendant. It turns out the lady at the shop makes beads. That was quite fun to look at—her work is lovely. After the buying frenzy, we drove out to Work Boy #2’s house, where we got to pet the horse and goats, and see two incredibly precious puppies they are fostering. One looks JUST like an ewok. Or a living teddy bear. Here's a link to his photo, at least while he is up for adoption... Mostly we were visiting to get some tea I ordered and show the YB all the WB’s toys—it’s action figure world over in rural Burnet County, like heaven for YB! Anyway, we had fun, then raced home to avoid rain storms.

Monday we did not go to work. That is to stretch out my work time, mainly. Also, we needed a break. So, the skies cleared enough that we could totally get rid of the contents of the mosquito factory known as my garden pond (the root ball to which was MIGHTY huge). We turned it into a planter, rearranged things on the patio and were mighty pleased with ourselves. Then Lee, YB and I went to the Home Depot and got a lot of plants, and a wine barrel to put flowers in. The barrel still smells like wine, which has made the back yard quite fragrant during the recent rains. We (mostly Lee) planted the flowers and hung my decorative plaque, and now it looks great in the yard. In addition to tomatoes and peppers for the former water garden, there are a lot of marigolds, which may not be happy in the shade, but they will be great for a while, anyway. I also got a bunch of begonias, knowing they will do fine (the one from previous years is coming back for a fourth year—not bad for an annual). Nicer plants will have to wait until I have a job!

Now, have we enjoyed those new plants? Not much, since it has rained all week. But, of course, the rain is very welcome. The work week has been pretty standard, the usual irritations, then resting a lot in the evenings. The Older Boy came back from his trip very late, so I spent Tuesday night worrying about him, but all was well. Just rain delays. We heard all about his trip last night, and I think he had enough fun to make it worth it. He really seemed to like seeing where Saturday Night Live is filmed.

Off to sit and wait for the phone to ring. It does ring, at least, so recruiters are out there recruiting for me. Go them. My dearest pal NJ got a “real” job this week, so I feel hope. She so deserves a good job after all that time at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization! I’m thinking a lot about the stuff going on for so many of my friends, too. It’s a lot to think about, and I know positive thoughts help. I appreciate all of YOURS for the job stuff!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Looking up!

A quick note to say a few nice things. Other than having a very unhappy stomach (musta eaten something BAD yesterday), it's going well.

I have been interviewing like crazy for a contract position at another large local company. And some of the resumes I have sent out in the past week or two are getting me call-backs or emails. I am just SO relieved to be hearing something back from someone! It sounds like I will be interviewing next week with the actual client, after talking to two folks at the recruiting place, so wish me luck!

And there's another one I am working on with a different recruiter. That job sounds weird, but pays well, so I will not turn it down.

And one really interesting one in the nonprofit field that I am actually quite qualified for, but am afraid won't pay well enough even though it's a director level position. Sigh. Nonprofits. Sigh.

PLUS one more that wants really amusing writing samples that sound like they are from the olden days of software documentation, but I think I can churn out for them. At least they are not asking me to write how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (how I got my current position).

There is a lot afoot in the current place of work. Much confusion and reorganizing, so who knows what it will be like there in a couple of weeks, when rumor is that hiring might start up again. Well, I still DO care about it there, since Lee's there, and would like to come back, even if it is different...

OK...that's all I can get to right now. More later. The older boy has to pack for his band trip, I have to figure out why this blog won't load for Lee, and I need to figure out even MORE tiny details than my brain can hold. I sure hope to get to go on a little trip Sunday and Monday. I could really use a break.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Just Being Alive

I am happy to just be alive, at the ripe old age of 49. I was a bit down last night, thinking I was this old and still not able to support myself, but honestly, I think I will support myself--the answer to how just isn't here yet.
I also was a bit bummed by some other weekend stuff, but I am getting over it. Just the usual birthday blahs and feeling sorry for myself.
Some nice stuff did happen this weekend. I had 6 in my knitting class on Saturday, and that is always good. All really quick learners, too. What fun! And I have been playing with a shrug out of the Noro Aurora yarn I just finished a lovely scarf in (picture to come, once blocked). I just like the yarn; all shiny and pretty colors.
We had a tarot gathering on Saturday night, and we celebrated the lunar eclipse and did a ritual to bring us all the work energy we needed. We had more dogs than people, as you can see from the picture, which has all 5 dogs in it, somewhere. Tina brought the sweet and calm Valentine, who you can see looks surprisingly like Rose. Rose's shiny, wavy coat, her head shape, and her markings were pretty similar to Valentine's. So, perhaps ole Rosie has more border collie in her than anything scary and huge (whew). She is still the most amusing puppy ever, the way she flies through things and lands so awkwardly.
Anyway, Tina, Shannon, Lee and I had a nice time and enjoyed many candles, and the end of the eclipse. We would see a bit better in the back yard than usual, because Lee has been intrepidly hacking away at tree branches. He's almost got the back yard in usable condition. Shocking.
More shocking was the fact that he and I neatened up the garage on Sunday. This is all exciting because I literally hadn't touched a thing in it since the Ex left. Jeff has put his music stuff in there, and thrown a lot of boxes in piles, but that is about it. Lee and I made space for his scary motorcycle, cleaned up, and got rid of a lot of junk. Stuff we were keeping got put on SHELVES--what a concept! So, I am pretty proud of that, and grateful that Lee would help with such a dirty job. I am lucky.
He was really sweet and said happy birthday to me in joys and concerns at church, too, and said how nice everyone has been to him. I am so glad he enjoys it. I was so tired of going by myself and being alone at church. He's been asked to play bass for some instrumental thing at a service, and that is so nice, too. Good to be a part of a couple that can do things together.
Last night was supposed to be the family birthday dinner, but Jeff got a gig and could not come. But the rest of us ate at a Texas Road House steakie place. We were cramped into a tiny corner space and could barely get out--my poor sister really looked smooshed. But it was nice to have everyone there.
So, things are not bad. Work may turn up soon--lots of possibilities. And I got kind wishes from many of my friends, which I really appreciate. I am also reminded that a lot is going on for many friends, and I am thinking of all the sicknesses, deaths, and other sad things going on. There's always so much good AND bad at any time. Just glad to have my hilarious kids, sweet work friends, wonderful other friends and my precious manly companion to support me.
Ooh, and I think Jeff may have a job prospect. Woo.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


OK, last night it was funny that I called Lee "sick Lee" and then realized it came out "sickly."

But today I am also feeling sick. I think is it mainly sinus stuff, from sitting in a really dusty stadium watching older boy play lacrosse. He did well, too, and actually ran a while with the ball and looked like a lacrosse player. But wow, my head began to feel like it was about to explode, which had started in the knitting store, in any case.

It was interesting at knitting--there were some new people there, leading to a new dynamic. I like meeting new people in an atmosphere like that. I also learned a lot about the holocaust from one of the ladies there who is a teacher and had gone to an interesting workshop on it. I wish I had been there--she got some really neat materials. Since I have so many emotional issues with it, I'd like to learn ways to teach it sensitively without overwhelming people. We had a couple of interesting snippets of conversation with others, including a couple of Jewish people, one from eastern Europe. Makes my day to have such talks.

Work was good yesterday. Even the frustrating parts were interestingly so. It is continuing to be good today, as we evaluate the weird assessments we have been writing. They have ended up better than I thought. I surprise myself. And Lee surprises himself, too. We are good little assessors and facilitators.

Lunch over, back to work in a weird classroom where I cannot check my email. Which is frustrating because I can SEE it, but not check it.