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!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Time Last Year...

1. I started my tarot blog. Happy blogaversary to it!

2. (As Sandy reminds me) I was told I was no longer needed at my job at the beloved Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization. Yeah, but they keep sending me 800 number counseling referrals. No thanks--I'm not good enough to work for you, I won't do your volunteer work for you. I'd been expecting it--I didn't do as I was told well enough, kept advocating for the clients and volunteers and not the wishes of the Board and consultants...well, now all I regret, and continue to regret, is losing some of my most beloved friends. I guess I am not as good at writing someone who means a lot to me out of my life as they are. But, they have a philosophy of discarding people who don't "get with the program," and I do understand that it is a lot easier to have faith in your course of action if you don't keep people around who have other input. I certainly have that impulse on occasion.

3. I had given up on having a partnership relationship that fulfilled my needs and was based on mutual respect. I had decided to accept a practical, pragmatic compromise with a quirky and egotistical roommate who I had once tried to partner with.

4. I expected I was talented and useful enough to get a job with benefits, an office, and interesting tasks to do.

So, lots has changed. I have learned to work in big corporations as a contractor, thankfully found the kind of partner I always dreamed of, and found other interests besides volunteer work to fill my time (yay knitting). I also know who my real friends are (blog readers stand a huge chance of being one of those) and where it is best to focus my loyalties: my children, my partner, my parents and the friends who have stuck with me.

In other news, I saved a sweet female warbler yesterday, who was flapping frantically at the glass windows along the long walkway from the parking lot to work. I opened a sliding window, and before she left, she looked at me like, "What are you doing??" then gratefully flew to the safety of a tree. I love warblers.

I've still been sick, and missed a visit from a friend and a birthday dinner because of it. Today I haven't blown my nose once, so maybe it is fading. The sickness has slowed down my planned cleaning and straightening, but I will get on it tonight after a dental appointment and a dinner featuring quinoa and yellow cauliflower.

We still have Tina rooming with us, and have reluctantly agreed to watch her dog (which has been left at the first boyfriend's house) while she is at her anime convention. 5 dogs. Ack. This IS the most well behaved dog of the bunch, though. I convinced her, I hope, that she needs to take responsibility for the animal and make some sacrifices to take care of her. I really feel like you can't just dump a family member because they become inconvenient. Of course, that is the reason I didn't get a dog until I had a house, the kids were old enough to not kill it, and I knew I could afford its care. Cats were better for my single apartment-dwelling years. I know Tina cares for animals and even if she's in love will remember her responsibilities because it's a LIFE LESSON, right, Tina? :-) Me, being a mom-like person.

Lots to do coming up. We have picked colors for the walls in the media room, and I hope we can furnish it soon. Woo.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Beccano Birthday Bonanza, New Roommate

Everyone Being Themselves
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
So, Tuesday is Beccano's 14th birthday, but last night was his final night here until some time in July, so we celebrated then. We had the generous offer of a family dinner from Jeff, to thank us all for being patient while he found new accomodations and to celebrate the smooth transition (we are all SO very proud of ourselves). Of course, um, we wish he actually had ALL of his stuff out...but that will come.

The photo is my favorite of the bunch we took (go to my Flickr pages under "holidays" for more). It's all the men who have been sharing my life this year, each doing what they do. Jeff is being funny with Beccano's bokken present (there's a photo of him mock attacking the boy, too), Beccano is doing his Stephen Colbert imitation that Tuba Boy is his Emo Friend. Lee is "hiding behind a tree" (from the first photo I ever showed the kids of Lee, one from work where all the team was there, but Lee was behind a tree). Tuba Boy is wearing that new iPod I got him and that green hat he now loves so much, with his band t-shirt. They are all adoring the amp Jeff got Beccano for his birthday (they'll all end up using it). That was nice, since Jeff took all the amps. Lee has guitars, but no amp.

I got Beccano a ninja costume, of all things, because he WANTED one. It's very high quality for the price, I have to say. One for taking ninjitsu classes. Lee got him a really nice flat-screen monitor that Jeff found on sale at Fry's for us. That will make the office cooler--we'll only have one CRT left! Tuba Boy got him a bunch of his fave candies and picked out great cards.

We had a nice dinner at Red Robin, where we met a waiter who is also a drum corp consultant, then had ice cream cake at home. It was a great evening, and the boy was happy.

Today, sniff, we sent them off to Ireland, where they'll see all their aunts, uncles and cousins as they celebrate EXH's mother's 80th birthday. I sent my wishes. We will both miss them. Lee and I have so much fun with the kids! In case you forget my life story, they usually spend all of July with their dad. This year it's early because of the special event. I'll meet up with Beccano in NC at the end of June (and Lee too!) to spend time with my dad at last. Tuba Boy, in the meantime, will spend three weeks at his expensive debate camp in Dallas.

But...we have New Roommate

So, it's like we have a kid, only an older one with a job and a boyfriend. And pink hair. Yes, Tina AKA Chemical Pink (I will NOT call her "RM2") is with us for a couple of weeks, though she will be out for many of those days at her anime convention. Seems she was asked to vacate her previous living quarters, where she was because she was asked to vacate the one before that when she started seeing a new guy. And hey, we didn't want to let the guest bed be empty more than a couple of days, now did we?

Really, she was not living in a very fun situation (living room full of noisy pets, on air mattress on the floor). At least she has a real bed and her own bath (mostly de-scummed and de-baby powdered). We'll probably hardly see her, since we work days and she works mostly evenings at the video store. I could not let anyone who calls me "motherly" have to live under an underpass with her pet cactuses and balls of yarn!

So, we aren't quite empty nesters yet!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Still sick, but I want to acknowledge the significance of the day. After a lot of patience and perseverance, Lee and I have made it through two milestones as of today:

First, Jeff spend last night at his new living quarters. He still has some stuff here, but it is mostly all there. It's almost "our" house. We slept with the door open last night--both kids sleeping at friends' and Jeff gone. Too bad we were so sick that we couldn't do much more than say cheers with our plastic cups of Nyquil.

Second, Lee's court hearing finally happened today, and he is officially free of his marriage. The delays on that were really hard to deal with, so I am glad it finally came together. Now, I know first hand that any divorce is bittersweet, so I don't expect him to be cheering and dancing for joy.

But, I do know that we will all feel freer to move forward and build futures free of obligations to others. Six months ago, we told each other that we'd commit to making this relationship the primary focus in our lives and get out of previous obligations that were causing us stress and heartache. And just about 6 months to the day later, we have managed to achieve that goal.

We can now get our home, our goals, our future and our families in order and make concrete plans for what we want to do. I am hoping that the stability will also be good for the kids, animals and all the people we know. I know that having all these things done makes me feel like I am standing on solid ground.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not Well

Darn, it appears that Lee and I have both succumbed to whatever was wrong with the boys over the weekend. Sore throats just popped up last night, and drainage began. I think he's sicker than I am, but I am not feeling all that great.

At least today I spoke to people at work. Had lunch in the work cafeteria with Singing Partner Bill (because he wanted to ask me to carpool with him, so subtle), and talked a bunch to the IT people, 'cause I upgraded my email client (whee). And I have more to do, too. That is good.

It was Beccano's last day of middle school (he isn't failing anything!) and Tuba Boy has hit the halfway point through high school. This year sure went fast.

Cough, cough.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Boy and Cows

A Boy and Cows
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Yesterday we took two very sick boys to visit Lee's dad. We didn't realize they were both suffering from what appear to be sinus infections until we were well on the way...but they got some medicine and were real troopers. The trip was just two hours, thankfully, and each direction one slept a lot.

Here's Tuba Boy (I am told Older Boy is too dull) in his Che Guevarra cap (still) bonding with Smart Cow and Baby Cow. Baby Cow almost went up and touched him (she let's Lee's dad do it). All three cows were VERY curious about the boys--heads up, nostrils flaring, coming as close as they dared.

The boys and I went on a walk around the fields and explored the clumps of trees and the freshly baled hay. Of course, Beccano the eagle eyed found a snake (cool!) and we also found excellent spiders and butterflies. They had way more fun than I thought they would, and they also enjoyed the hearty country lunch in the very authentic country diner. We all wished we could have stayed longer and that they felt better.

Both were very respectful and kind to Lee's dad. On the way home I surprised them with MP3 players for their trip to Ireland (and Beccano's upcoming 14th birthday). I told them that it was reasonable that they had them (they'd merely mentioned wanting them, not begged). Tuba Boy said something like, "Mom! How can I complain about you if you keep being so reasonable! Everybody else complains about their parents and I can't complain about you!" I think, at least right now, I am striking a good balance of being good to them yet setting reasonable limits. Yay me.

I got lots of knitting done (almost done with shawl!!), and Lee got a bit weary and sore from driving. Then the poor dear man made dinner for the kids and me AND diagnosed a bad problem with Tuba Boy's computer. He must be glad to have escaped and gone to work this morning.

I will be taking the boys to the walk-in clinic if they aren't better this afternoon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

We have new stuff

We have new stuff
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
It's been a happy day, so here's a happy photo of me and my very tall teen enjoying our new purchases. Last night we took the kids shopping and he got new shoes a black dress shirt (size extra thin, not shown) and his brother got a green newsboy-style cap. Well, the cap has not come off THIS kid's head, backwards, of course. He looks pretty good for someone with a miserable cold or sinus condition.

I am looking happy because I love both my new-ish sheep-made-out-of-balls-of-yarn shirt, and I really love the shawl that Jody made for me for my birthday. It is SUCH a lovely pattern (for details, see my knitting blog) and it feels SO luxurious on!

I hung out with Jody today, longer than I'd intended, but since we hadn't hung out in a while, it was worth it. Trip to Hill Country Weavers, where yarn was bought, then a lovely lunch at Guero's, followed by a bit of shopping and then a lesson in spinning with a drop spindle. I hope to get better at it, that's all I can say. But it is fun.

While I was gone, Lee and Beccano had WAY too much fun looking at motorcycles and getting B a helmet (it fits me too, eek). B also got to drive the riding lawn mower at Lee's old house and apparently was quite good at maneuvering it. To top it all off, he got to whack things with a machete. Manly fun, I tell you. Boys continuing to be boys.

And Older Boy has been more perky, other than the sinus issue.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boy Must Be Boys

Last night was the final middle school band concert I'll ever have one of my children participate in (not saying I'll never go to one, since I had to talk about scholarships at this one).

Here's good ole Beccano dressed up as a Blues Brother. There were a LOT of Blues Brothers at the concert--apparently it's such an easy costume to come up with. But, he had the cutest jacket and the best hat (Older Boy's genuine New York hat shop Fedora that I bought him a few years ago). The hat was great, because you could watch it bob up and down as he kept counting the beat. I think the boy's actually going to make it through middle school without failing, too.

He and Lee have so much fun together (he was posing for Lee here). They must have also known each other in a previous life, because they act like long-lost brothers. It makes me so happy to see how much laughter they generate in each other--they both deserve it. They are such BOYS together!

Now, if I could only find something to to bring laughter into Older Boy's life. Since the relationship with The Girl didn't work out in a rather unsavory way (she went for one of the other posse members), he has been sitting around and moping (or mooning, as we used to call it when I was in high school). He'd been mooning over her before she got friendly, was a bit overly giddy while she was friendly, then slunk into silence and staring at the computer screen for the past few weeks. It has gotten so bad that his band teacher called to ask what was wrong with him, and to say he has fallen down so much in his music that he is being downgraded to the less fancy band next year. Older Boy has also gotten so, so thin, and just doesn't eat. So, I have had series of long talks with him, where I manage to get Jeff away (he goes into lecture mode and won't listen to the child) and talk to him like a person, but let him know what I expect: reasonable sleeping hours, eating, and doing something other than mooning.

The thing is, I care so deeply about this child...and he is so much like me only with better self esteem. It makes me incredibly sad to see him losing some of that healthy self image he used to have. I know he feels like a failure at lacrosse, and he did pretty poorly in debate this year...and now the band thing (note: he wanted the easier band, because he has to devote more time to debate next year). But, he gets to go to the expensive debate camp, which I hope will perk him up and inspire him. It WILL get him away from certain influences. I hope going to Ireland and being with his relatives there will be a nice distraction, too. My poor baby. My truest source of joy in life. Having him in my life saved me when I was so far down, and I want to be there for him now that I am happy and found Lee.

Had to pay close to $2K to get the air conditioning fixed, but that could have been worse, and now the incessant dripping out the back will stop, too. The unit had shifted somehow. Of course, it has cooled down again and we aren't using the a/c!

We're looking forward to a disjointed weekend, the last full one before the boys leave for their Time with Their Dad. Lee is going to spend some time with his own dad, but I can't go because Jeff got a late gig the night I needed him to watch the boys one last I will try to go see Lee's dad while the kids are gone. Sigh, Jeff really has been handy for dog watching and kid minding.

Jeff's moving the stuff to his new abode this weekend. Mostly I am thrilled. A little sad to see the transition, but it's a good thing for all.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beauty of Beauties

I got permission to share this poem, from an upcoming collection by John Berry, one of the wonderful poets at ye Olde Spiritual Community. My guess is it is both a tribute to his wife, who is fading from a debilitating disease, but whose spirit still shines, and to the dark goddess in us all. I thought it would balance yesterday's post:

Beauty of Beauties

She is the beauty of the breaking wave.
No longer slow, smooth swell of open sea,
nor first breaking at seamost sandbar,
She is the translucent shell, arching over,
white topped, on its final run to the beach.
It will collapse into a chaos of foam,
stirring the sand, and return to the sea.

She is the beauty of the falling leaves.
No longer single leaves shining red,
not a single tree gleaming gold,
She is myriad bright colors, hill upon hill,
trees of yellow and red, rich gold and piney green.
Singly and in masses, the leaves will fall,
mulching trees against cold, to return in Spring buds.

She is the beauty of the on-coming storm.
No longer is the sky blue, with white cloud-puffs,
nor adorned by veils of grey rain from dark, distant clouds.
She is the norther's fresh, spreading bruise,
rich purple-black to the horizon, dressed with lightning.
The storm will make floods fall, and night.
And, when it passes, sun, sky and clouds will be purified again.

She is the beauty of the ripening grain.
No longer simply stalks stretching for sun,
nor long-haired, empty ears swaying in the breeze.
She is the swelling kernels, golden ripe for harvest.
Threshed and winnowed, guarded in the grainery,
they, in the mill, become flour, added water and yeast make dough,
and, when well leavened, the oven bakes it to bread.

She is the beauty of beauties of every kind.
No longer the maiden standing on the silver crescent,
nor the love-and-battle muse of the golden-ripe moon, bulking the horizon.
She is the dark, comely dancer of the black sickle.
Day-birds will roost in eerie dusk and owls fly
in midday night when her absence steals the sun.
Yet all she swallows, she gives birth to, even herself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

One Less Frightening Influence

Well, Jerry Falwell died. I never could figure out how so many people could buy his line of bullshit, hook line and sinker. He was such a fake! And a liar! And really more of a con man than anything else, not some fellow Jesus was great pals with. I do wish he'd had less influence on US culture. But, Americans can be so gullible. Some of them.

Diana found this today on Newsweek's website. Read it! A real, accurate biography of this person who did very little to better the world in which he lived.

Here's my favorite excerpt:

"On September 13, 2001, Falwell said this on Pat Robertson’s show, “The 700 Club”: “The enemies of America give us probably what we deserve.” When asked to elaborate, Falwell added, “When we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, ‘you helped this happen.’” Robertson replied, “Well, I totally concur.” Falwell later apologized, unconvincingly, for offending anyone."

This is the best quote I saw on

"He should be erased from every history book and media story," wrote Brian Pippinger of St. Petersburg, Florida.

If I believed in a specific afterlife (who knows? I am a pagan agnostic after all!) I bet he'd not be in a fun one. Or maybe I'll just hope his next life is one as a gay woman of color. Maybe a muslim one. Yeah. He needs to see how the rest of the world perceives things, so he can get some better karma.

I am enjoying my imaginary future for ole Jerry now.

Hmm, there are very few people I truly dislike enough to write stuff like this about.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Originally uploaded by sunasak.
None of the photos of this event came out very well (new camera IS on the list of things to get, now that Jeff's is leaving), but this was my favorite. Beccano is patiently waiting on his turn to play his solo at his annual percussion recital. I love how the drumsticks lie waiting next to his music (the music he'd lost and had to re-copy by hand). Above him is a big, bronze gong.

I was proud of him--he did his solo perfectly (and even the other really good kids messed up a couple of times). He also did a beautiful job on his ensemble bell solo. I hope he has learned something by failing math last 6 weeks. He didn't get to participate in solo and ensemble contest, and he probably would have made a first division this year. I think he realizes now that he has to keep up and pay attention to his grades, not wait for a warning from the teacher.

It is hard watching your children learn hard lessons.

Also, we ate that pie after the concert. OMG. That was one delicious pie. Well worth the effort.

In other child news, the Older Boy has not been talking much, and has seemed pretty morose. I sent him a nice email yesterday, letting him know I am here for him, and that I wish he'd talk to us a bit more. He wrote back that he was just fine but he "appreciated the sentiment." Boy sounds like his dad.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pie and Cards

Didn't want too many pix in one post, so here's another Mothers' Day entry. My gift from Beccano was a completely home made pie. I bought him a cook book recently, of all desserts, and said I wanted this chocolate mint silk pie. He made it, and it took a lot of new skills for him to complete. Softening butter, melting chocolate (eww, burnt some), making a pie crust. That last one was expensive, because he misread the instructions again, and put in a cup rather than 2-3 tablespoons of water in his first crust dough. Wasted 1.5 sticks of butter, but was a good lesson. However, it is a nice crust.

The pie has not been eaten yet, but we have memorialized it in these lovely photos! It's jellin' now, and sure looks rich and delicious. It's neat to see him trying all these new skills.
The boys were silly, as usual, for the holiday, and each gave me cards featureing ninjas, for some reason. Well, I KNOW Beccano is obsessed, but Older Boy's card was, too. He though tit was so funny that he could not hardly bear for me to wait until to day to open it (and it was cute).

Beccano made his, which was a collage featuring himself in ten years (a ninja wielding a guitar (axe) and wearing a huge masonic medallion), the Who at like age 18, Al Gore yelling "happy mommies day," a pansie, and the Kool-Aid dude (oh yeah). Not sure why the last thing was there. But, it made me laugh. Oh yeah, and a picture of Pres. Taft, labeled "Taftilicious" which he said cracked him up for about an hour when he thought of it. Yes, that boy is as goofy as he is in the photo!!

Both have been so kind to me lately (Older Boy walked to get the mail for me yesterday), and so funny. Every day's my day!

Mothers' Day Weekend

It's been a nice weekend. First, I got the main part of my shawl done and started on the border (photos in knitting blog). That made me happy. I got cute little needles for doing the border and that's made it fun.

Then, when I was finished knitting and chatting with my friends and such, Lee and I joined my former contractor friends Greg, Chelsea and Phil, plus Lea (aka "My Wife" as Greg always calls her), and we went off to a hike in Inks Lake State Park (the same place where I went to the cabin last fall when Jeff played in the cave).

We went on a longer hike than I'd ever been on there, 5 miles-ish in 3.5 hours on the longer trails in the less developed part of the park. I really, really love this part of Texas, so I was pretty thrilled to get to walk on the rocks I have admired for so long from the road! There were also a lot of wildflowers still blooming, and we saw interesting wildlife, like Daddy Longlegs under rocks, a butterfly whose tail looked like a second head (I have a picture of that on Flickr under Travel), and some interesting little ecosystems in the pools formed by rain on the karst rock formations (one even had a tiny fish in it--I wonder if it was one of those who burrow in the mud when the water dries up?).

As you can see, the prickly pear cactus were blooming--Lee took lots of pictures of them, and you can see them in the Flickr links in the sidebar--go to the Travels collection.

The hike was lovely, and would have been nicer if there had been even a hint of a breeze, and perhaps a few more clouds. I thought I was being all wimpy for getting a bit overheated (I am prone to heat stroke, after all, and so is my Psychic Twin Lee), but I found out that even the young people were feeling the heat. Whew. We all began to look forward to the wooded areas, because there was shade. But, the flowers were so pretty, the vistas so vast, and the rocks so darned interesting; it was worth it! I'm only sorry Beccano couldn't join us because he was really not feeling well (is better today).

This picture is really cool. Lea took it and was all worried she'd mess it up. We realized that, oops, we were standing with the sun behind us, and were a bit worried that we'd not see our faces, but lo and behold, we can be seen, and there's this cool streaming sun effect beside us! We do look a bit hot, but otherwise, like the finest of former coworkers!


Yes, it's Mothers' Day, so happy day to all you people who are mothers, may be mothers, have a mother or had a mother. I always miss my mom today, but am glad to have the boys to enjoy. They also fed us at church, so that made the day worthwhile.

Plus, Lee joined the church today, so we are a Pledge Unit, not just a solo. I just can't tell you how nice it is to have someone to go to church with who likes the people there, will do activities, loves me, admits it in public, and whom I can love back. (I doubt that sentence is parallel, but you get the idea). My dad made some joke today about needing a score card to keep track of my boyfriends, sigh. But it is my fondest hope that nothing happens with this one. It's working out so nicely. And I can tell my dad is relieved I have someone more responsible around the house.

In bad news, it looks like something is amiss with my air conditioner, the unit that didn't break a couple of years ago. Sigh. I will now just hope it doesn't require completely replacing the thing. At least I managed to save a little for an emergency, this time!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The front of the house

Sam wanted to see my garden pictures. Well, I only got two usable ones, but these are them. Highlights include mulch instead of weeds and lack of Virginia Creeper VINES on the house, because I am zealously killing them to death and pulling them down, like every couple of days. The left plant is a Texas Bush Sage, and it has large purple flowers all summer (comes back from nothing every year and gets huge). Flowers are just about to start. Then the pink thing I just planted, and can't remember what it is, but there's a purple one, too. The turtle comes from Lee's old house and I made him bring it here because I like it and the Ex is not here to forbid garden statuary any more. It has vinca/periwinkle in it, of various pink and purple colors. The undefined green stuff is a mix of red snapdragons and white alyssum. Bugs just ate all the white flowers, but the snapdragons are doing better than usual, due to better watering and fertilizing than I usually manage. They will croak at some point in the summer, though, but that is OK--usually the white lantana comes up and covers the dead spring stuff.

This one is the other side of the previous picture and includes my sophisticated use of MS Paint to get rid of Older Boy's name on the sign (so Flickr viewers don't see it, not y'all). This shows some blue salvia behind the rest of the snapdragons. The taller plants at the left are pink snapdragons (blooming now) that have been in there at least three years (last time I managed to plant anything). They are much bigger than they were in previous years thanks to mulch, weeding and fertilizing. You do not see the evil honeysucke VINES that are trying to eat the poor crape myrtyle and salvia gregii on the end. I do like the dwarf something-or-other hedge by the windows. In ten years that is as big as it has gotten, and I have not had to trim it. For once, a foundation plant that doesn't soon outgrow its role.

So, that's one little bed in the front of the yard. And note the grass. It exists. I do have a lawn.

And from now on, I will make VINES very big. Because I obsess about them. Not even thinking about how the grape vine in back is trying to come back from the brink. Getting the RoundUp out.

One Other Topic

I was so nice and ordered Lee some flowers to show support for his divorce hearing this morning. Only, after I ordered them, it got canceled. ACK and these were not cheap flowers (they also came with a nice vase and matching picture frame). So, now they are sympathy flowers for not getting to get the thing OVER with yet. It's so stressful!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I put my tarot card of the day in here because it summarizes my hopes for right now--a bit of a break, a respite, a lull. Of course, there is Lee's court appearance tomorrow. Those are always stressful, and no matter how glad you are for it, divorces are not "fun" events. I know I didn't "make" him do it, but I know it might not have happened right now if it weren't for me. But, hey, we have had this many months of happiness, and he was so miserable before.

We did survive the big reorganization at ALE, and Lee still has a job, just a new manager and different team, I guess. Now maybe they'll hire someone? I keep dreaming. That stress being over will make a real difference for all of us, though. We both have jobs that are stable for the time being. Yay. I even have a thing to DO now at work. That helps, because yesterday I arrived at 7:30 am and no one spoke to me or emailed me until 4:45 pm. That's weird. Today I have already spoken to more than one person and the boss has sent more than one email. Woo. Plus, the arm warmers I knitted over the weekend have actually helped me deal with the cold in the office better!

All the kid drama seems to have faded, too. The Girl has disappeared, so Older Boy isn't quite as manic (though I am sure he is sad), and Beccano finished making up all his work and is back on track to make reasonable math grades this semester. Let's hope the other grades come up, too. He is having a lot of fun building a rocket in shop class and making a movie in Multimedia. Plus reading a very large book on ninja training that I got him for his birthday. It's nice to see him reading.

Hey readers! Have any of you heard of locker hooking? It is a craft I never heard of before, but I met a man whose wife does it obsessively, apparently. It looks...different.

So...I planted some new flowers in the front yard, and will share pix of that later. Until then, I will rest in peace.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Restaurant Fun

Restaurant Fun
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
Friday night we decided we wanted to go out to eat, and it was my turn. I picked a local family-run Italian restaurant, because I like the "real restaurant" atmosphere and lack of chain-restaurant blandness. The problem was that it was Friday, prom night and such, so we had a bit of a wait. I came prepared with knitting (which I later had to rip out, but it passed the time), and everyone else entertained each other with banter while we had drinks.

Once we got seated, the boys (Lee included) got sillier and sillier, and we ended up playing a seriously funny game of adult vs. teen "straw hockey" (blowing a straw folded into a triangle across the table, trying to avoid glasses, so you can "score"). The easiest way to lose was to start laughing, so you could not blow any more, and the other side could score on you. There was a lot of laughing! I hope we were not too embarrassing. I captured the end of the game on my cell phone, and that's the picture you see here.

The food was wonderful, and to see them eating salad and broccoli cheese soup warmed my heart. And ordering adult kinds of food. Wow. (If only Older Boy would EAT more.)

I came home so happy to have my wonderful three men in my home. They were great fun.

And in good news, it looks like Jeff found a roommate and a nice place to live, not very far from here (but a lot closer to his fave South Austin haunts, like Artz and Donn's Depot). He should be moving soon, if all goes well. So that's 4 dudes I am happy with.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Garden Drama

This is the kind of excitement I want more of in my life.

Yesterday, Beccano and I were sitting on the patio surveying the damage a bad storm did to the potted plants. We propped up a few things and decided everything would recover, even the battered tomatoes.

He said, "Hey look at the blue jay." And there was a big on on the woodpile (we have a sizable collection of debris, some of which will be firewood, the rest of which is slowly being put out with the trash each week and currently serves as wren and sparrow habitat). The jay began screaming suddenly. We laughed at how loud it was.

Then he said, "Whoa, there are a lot more jays now," and sure enough, 8 or 9 of them began flying around the crape myrtle and Monterrey oak. They looked like bouncing blue balls of energy. All of them were making a very loud blue jay screech (not the pretty jay sound, the screech). We wished we'd had the recorder out so that we could use it on animations or make it a cell phone ring tone.

As we sat there enjoying it, Beccano jumped up and said, "SNAKE! Mom, look!" Sure enough, a fair-sized rat snake was crawling under the fence into our yard. It quickly made its way under the firewood pile. That seemed to satisfy the jays, and they screeched just a few more times, then flew away, other than one lone sentinel, who stayed at least another ten minutes, Beccano, who brought a chair over for at least 20 minutes only to report it poked its head out a couple of times, and one very curious wren. We figure that the jays' nest had been a target of the snake, or something. Or, they just don't like snakes (who could blame them).

That was a really fun backyard drama. I looked and looked for an image of an angry blue jay, and I chose this one by Jim Spencer, the guy who illustrated Stuart Little. I imagine the one in the illustration was yelling at the moth. Or eating it.

P. S.: In other wildlife news, what I didn't post about last Friday was that Beccano called me at work, in a panic. Naturally one of the rare moments my boss was in the office. The dogs had brought in a bloody, dead rat. He bravely disposed of it and cleaned the carpet, but it made him sick to his stomach. I told him, "Now you are a man, my son." And now I know one of the disadvantages of the doggie door.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Such a Big Boy

Such a Big Boy
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
My, how Beccano has grown. And he's not stopping. I have a hard time dealing with my baby being so...big. We were goofing around last night while I was taking pictures of my finished Fiesta Sweater, so we captured him in Jeff's leather hat and his own festive Threadless t-shirt (we loves them Threadless shirts).

We are spending a lot of time together, since this precious boy was not doing his math work and didn't go after school like he was supposed to last he has no privileges other than the History Channel and discussing math with me and Lee. He's taking it well, but I am totally baffled as to how he can "forget" to turn in work or go to an after-school program. His brain is still really "different" and I just don't understand it. He's so sweet, funny and talented, yet has strong tendencies to see how much he can avoid doing things he does not want to do. I don't get that boy. But, we have so much fun together!

And yes, as you can see the Fiesta Sweater is finished. There will be a longer post about it on the knitting blog. I think it came out much cuter than I thought it would, and it looks nice! Like I will wear it! I like how the sleeves came out--bell sleeves in 3/4 length (because long bell sleeves get smeared in food). And the leaf insertion looks interesting, as does my unique neckline.

Mainly I am proud to have finished something. I have too many things in progress! Still going strong is a Myrtle Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today in Bamboo, and a shiny green top from Rebecca mag.

One more little note: it was all rainy and stormy last night, so few folks were at Chicks with Sticks, but Cheri was there, and I was so glad to get to just sit and knit with her like in the old days. She's just such a comfortable person to be with, and I miss just chit chatting with her and talking about our lives. I am glad she's happy where she is now, but miss her, too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dishwasher Thrills

Dishwasher Thrills
Originally uploaded by sunasak.
So, why is there a blog entry about a dishwasher? I am so thrilled to finally have it, and so impressed that Lee the Manly one installed it solo.

You see, the dishwasher that came with the house ten years ago was not as nice as all the other appliances. It was not the absolute bottom of the line, but close. And it never got things really clean, ever. Always left deposits, grit and bits of rice everywhere. I have disliked it since I got it, but you hate to replace "a perfectly good dishwasher."

But, since we already got the lovely fridge...we'd looked at the dishwashers then. And we were in Home Depot on another mission yesterday, when lo and behold, there was a floor model, $150 off (plus $50 gift card). That made the second-best tier well within my range, woo. So now I have all the adjustments, added thingies, stainless steel liner and cycles I could possibly want.

When we test washed, Older Boy couldn't even tell it was going! And whoa, the clean glassware was cleaner than I ever saw it. I want to wach everything we own, just to shine it up.

I am proud of myself for being so careful when I was out of work that I could afford this little luxury. Now with modern washer and dryer (thanks to Lee), fridge (ditto) and dishwasher, I feel so good appliance-wise. And not to forget the lovely freezer full of yummy stuff Lee brought, too!

So, here's to the dishwaher, pictured in its first wash phase ever!

New Knitting Blog!

When I first started this blog I had intended to mostly talk about knitting in it, but instead I ended up dwelling on all the stuff that was going on in my life. I kept thinking things would settle down and I'd get back to knitting topics more, but I really haven't.

So, I went and started a knitting blog, which I will even make public, so knitting friends can find me. I will only say nice things about people, yarn, and yarn shops, uh, or I will try.

I'll still mention knitting stuff here, but if you want to see more technical knitting content (yeah, like I am capable of THAT) or more words on knitting, head on over there! Soon I'll have a picture of the finished Fiesta Sweater that just came off ye olde needles.