There's More to Life Than Knitting!

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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fall Is Coming

It's in the air--fall is coming. It hasn't been over a hundred degrees in a couple of weeks, and it's even rained a little bit. The sunflowers we planted in midsummer have started to bloom, to Beccano's delight. And school has started--the first football game is tonight, so get ready for more of my "exciting" high school marching band and football reports.

We had a delicious steak dinner last night (tender and perfectly cooked by Lee), and enjoyed hearing about the kids' classes and school adventures. Nothing made my heart swell more than hearing Tuba Boy wax enthusiastic about how great his English teacher is. I have such wonderful memories of my tanned, wrinkled, chain-smoking 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Chisholm (or Miz Chiz as we called her). I am hoping Tuba Boy has an opportunity to learn, think and stretch with a supportive mentor like we did.

Everything else is good. My dad called last night, mainly to prepare me for the fact that he might not make it to our wedding. Sigh. Well, there will be someone there, I know, because my sister has already booked a hotel and rental car, and we haven't even sent out invitations yet.

I am going to talk to a guy about a job today, informally. I don't even know if I applied for it, but it sounds like a good match, and I am only looking into really good matches right now--I like where I am fine for now! I just wish it weren't for only 8 more months! Lee has a great interview next week, so my fingers are in perpetual crossed mode for that!

And in other fall events, I enjoyed the convention coverage this week. There sure were some moving speeches and little films. I got weepy a lot. I feel like I fit in as an American after listening to Obama, and I haven't felt that way in a long time. It is like there is a chance the country MIGHT turn into something we could all be proud of, and live comfortably in again. Like maybe I could get insurance, we could get jobs that were stable, and everyone could not be so reliant on foreign oil. It's been a long time since I felt that way. I liked the focus on the positive and the respect shown to the other candidate, even when criticizing him. I don't expect to see much of that next week, but it would be fine with me to be pleasantly surprised by the Republicans engaging in their own convention by focusing on their positives and being respectful in their criticism.

I guess I am allowed to talk about my political views. It is, after all, my blog, right? Bloggers are supposed to talk about their opinions. All views are welcome here, though.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Feel Weird

And this is why. I know it is a cliche, but it really does feel like yesterday that I was the entire world for this little being.

Today this baby went off to his first day as a senior, class of 2009. That makes me feel so weird.

Both kids got up early, on their own. Both showered with no prompting. Each knew what he had to do to fix his scheduling mix-ups, where he was going to eat lunch, and what he was doing after school (band rehearsal). They didn't need any help from me at all. Aww. Well, I did have to find Beccano some new pencils. I guess this was the goal of all those years of attachment parenting, weaning gradually with love, and respectful discipline: well adjusted, independent young people.

I know we will have challenges this school year--there are always some. But today I am proud of how well they handle life, what nice young people they are, and what good choices they make.

Now, if Lee and I can just live up to all that...hee hee. I think we can. I am responsibly earning some bucks today, and Lee is responsibly putting in a new set of doorknobs and locks on the front door, so maybe the dogs won't escape so often.

I didn't write much about the weekend. That's because my back hurt a lot and I didn't really feel like doing much of anything, so I didn't. Other than going to the knitting store and taking a ride to get a band saw with Lee, I stayed home. The highlight of the weekend was a shopping trip Friday night with the kids, where we got Tuba Boy a new suit for debate, and because I was shopping for lady clothing, they picked out t-shirts with guitars on them, telling me they'd keep getting more if I didn't stop shopping! Then my sweet kids cheered up the check-out lady at the store, after she'd been subjected to rude customers before us. Again, I am proud of them boys.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I saw this on Barb Cooper's always-funny blog, and since I was looking for a Friday light-hearted post topic (also since I scared you all away with "who would you slug?"), I thought I'd do this one while I think about how to organize a course at work.

Yes, Bettye Sue and Doris Ann, my dad's sisters.

Wow, this is a milestone. I don't remember. I think it had something to do with Beccano being sad about something. But, hey, my life is good! I am not weepy!

When I slow down, I do. It has gotten rather funky at fast pace since I have had the kids.

Liver cheese, however you spell that in German.

Two so far.

I do think so. I'd like a me-ish friend. That is why I have Lee.

(Rolls eyes.) (Barb said that but I am keeping it)

Yes but I wouldn't recognize them if I saw them.

Only if pushed.

Special K with strawberry things. I don't eat it much, though. I eat too much.

I rarely wear shoes that tie, but no, I don't.

Yeah, people keep saying that. Physically, though, well, my shoulder hurts.

Vanilla with chocolate and caramel in it.

Their voice.


I really hate it that I cry when I get angry. Sometimes I think of the best things to say and then I can't get them out because I'm all wracked with sobs and stuff. (OK, this is weird, but this is what Barb wrote, and it actually IS way up there among my least favorite features of myself, one I have worked hard to change, but what happened when I got pissed off at that clueless lady for firing me? I cried.)

Mom, then there are a lot of close seconds (Jody, friends from the DNO, Roberta Johnson, my "coven" in Illinois...)

Gosh, no. I like reading this stuff in blogs.

Wine colored Mary Jane Dansko clogs with cute flower cut-outs.

Masala roasted chickpeas (sorta like wasabi peas)

The sound of people typing in neighboring cubicles.


Roses, violets, Thanksgiving dinner cooking, Zest soap

Sigh, a telemarketer

I stole it, but Barb seems very genuine and nice.

Football, baseball

27. Hair Color?
Dark brown, currently medium brown

Reddish brown

No, they don't make my vision good enough to suit me

butternut squash, yellow squash, beets, cauliflower, mangos

Happy endings. I don't need help to get sad or scared.

Under the Tuscan Sun (happy ending)

peach with floral (Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt to go with my new Hawaiian Lei socks)



Bread pudding

Lee; otherwise no one.

The Silent Blog Readers.

The Knitting Way, a book on highly sensitive people at work, William Shatner's biography

It's the desk.

Pre-season football. Didn't want to watch those guys drop batons.

Music by Enya. Silence other than birds and nature sounds.

I love the Beatles


I knit well. I also know a good person or a non-good one as soon as I meet them.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Sarasota, Florida

It would be fun to read any others.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who Would YOU Slug?

Suna and DH
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Today's photo is of me looking really sweet, posing in a scenic spot with my friend as we motored on home. What is that sweet, pacifist, Unitarian Universalist woman in the picture thinking about right now?

Who Would You Slug?

Yes. The Question of the Day on the List of the Day blog is that. It asks people who they would slug if given the chance. I found it interesting that the majority of people listed some famous person who they probably do not know. As disgusting as I find some folks (Cheney, those screaming conservative know-it-alls on Fox News, tthat horrid guy who rigged the election in Zimbabwe, etc.) I don't think I'd get any satisfaction from physically assaulting them. I don't know them.

What surprises me is that, at least in my imagination, I think it would be real cathartic to slug a couple of people I DO know. This comes up because someone on an email list made a comment about how well I came through the past few years, considering some of the ways I was treated (not to mention how some of my friends were treated--as a "highly sensitive person" I find that seeing friends mistreated can get me at least as upset as being mistreated myself, maybe more).

When I read that, I was glad for the complement (thank you, JLM), but also realized I still have a big ole sore spot that is healing much more slowly than I'd like. And I know a lot of it is a lack of closure. Not getting to say what I would have liked to say to a couple of people leaves me an "unfinished" feeling that gnaws at me when I can't fill my mind with work, music or knitting.

Maybe writing it all out would help. I could put it in my OneNote files that only I can read! Yeah, that would help, probably would help a lot with all the things I held in and did not say at that previous job, for example. But, with the things from the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization, writing would not be enough. There are a few people I think I'd really like to punch. Slug. Take a whack at.

So, I guess it's a good thing that "Guy I Used to Work with in 2005" and "His Best Friend the Super Consultant with an Agenda" are generally far, far away from me. Because that first person used my talents and good will, then lied to me and went behind my back to destroy my career when I didn't say "yes, yes, yes" to his poorly thought-out plans. I was honest with him and he did not return the honesty. Creepy, really creepy. And his best friend has lied about people I know well and respect, plus other stuff I will not type so it won't get reported back. But, I know it, others know it, and he knows it. Then there is the woman I mentored, supported and defended to others who turned around and betrayed me and my former team in a bid for power in a very small world, plus saying untrue things about former colleagues. Her painfully unkind actions (and her covert sources of information) are what currently get me irrationally upset. If I were a typical yee-haw American kinda gal, I'd probably really want to slug those guys and gals.

But, darn it, I am a new-agey "everyone has worth and dignity" kinda gal instead. I just will have to take the long view and firmly believe their karma will eventually bite them in the butt, and that will hurt more than a punch from a woman with a marginally functioning right shoulder would have, anyway. Sigh, besides, once I care about someone, I can't stop caring--which I guess is why the betrayal still hurts. I need "stop caring" lessons.

Who Wouldn't I Slug?

Musing on this topic has done me some good. It helps me see I have grown a lot. I no longer feel the urge to slug that woman who ruined my relationships with many church members and helped turn me away from volunteering in that kind of venue ever again. I don't have a strong need so slug Lee's former spouse like I did when she was lying about me a couple of years ago. I have finally let go of the neighbor who decided she didn't like me and then said something (I do not know what) to all the other neighbors so that they never talked to me any more, either. I have managed to file all of them in the "they are the ones with the problem" file, and now am simply glad they have moved out of my sphere.

And Why Did I Ever Want to Slug?

Looking back on my little list of candidates, I see a theme. I think every single one of them has incurred my wrath for one reason. They lied to others. Either about me or about someone I care about. I just can't tolerate that, apparently. And if I find myself lying, that is what I am hardest on myself about, so at least I am internally consistent (note that there are a lot of things I am hard on myself about, as you probably know). I find it very hard to forgive a blatant liar. I guess I will have to give some thought as to why that is such a big deal for me.

So, two things in conclusion:

1. I'll be eternally loyal to you as long as you don't spread lies about me or my friends.
2. I want to know who you would slug!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Very Distant Relative

Judy Canova Poster
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Here is a fun gift that Corey, my very first significant other (and still among my favorite human beings on earth), sent me a couple of weeks ago. It's a movie poster from 1960 featuring my famous distant relative, Judy Canova (my grandmother's maiden name was Canova, and my mother and sister both use it as a first name). She does bear a family resemblance. I say if you put Tuba Boy in pigtails, that would be him.

And you wonder where I get all that musical talent and hillbilly wit? Now you know. Some ancient Floridian passed that down.

My maternal grandmother would love to tell stories of the "famous" relatives who moved to New York and were in vaudeville, on the radio, and on TV. And you should have heard her squeal every time the 1970s commercial for Shake-n-Bake came on--maybe you remember the little southern child who drawled, "And I helped!"? Anyway, that was the only thing I ever saw Cousin Judy in.

Anyway, what a thrill it was to get this little gift, which will soon hang in the media room, now that it is safely framed. I'm hoping Corey's office is not ruined from the Iowa floods (he's a professor up there, which we always knew he'd be--he's the one who actually did what we both set out to do in high school,while I kept bumbling from relationship to relationship, left academia, and ended up, well, on this personal growth enterprise known as the Life of Suna.) Sigh, Corey was the best writer in our high school. The best writer in our college. And as far as I am concerned, the best writer in the English department at the University of Illinois in the early 80s! And he taught me everything I know about the cinema and Japanese philosophy. And he was the person who most shaped my beliefs and personal philosophy when I was young. So, a present from him means a lot to me. I am glad he's happy and doing work he loves.

Dying to know more about my distant cousin? Here is Judy's wikipedia article.

Dying to know even more? Here is her limb on the Canova Family Tree (produced by my mother's first cousin and "inventor of the Palm Pilot" in family lore, Frank Canova, Jr. AKA Frankie).

Oh, and here's me on the family tree. Sigh, I wish he'd put in a better photo, say one where I am not really fat.

Anyway, I can't determine how Judy, or her daughter that was on the show "Soap" are related to me, but there they are on the family tree. If you look hard enough, you'll even find an LDS relative, and I'm sure his descendants are grateful to cousin Frankie for saving them a lot of work!

Other News?

Nope, not much. Lee has another job lead, so our fingers are once again crossed. Beccano has written a couple of cool songs on the guitar. It's still slightly rainy. That's all good. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good to Get Away; Great to Be Back

Like they always say, a change of pace often makes you appreciate the status quo, and that is certainly the case with this weekend. I had a smashing time in Fredericksburg with my two friends, but I was still very happy to get home and see my dear family once I got home.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I enjoyed the teen sounds, Lee's stories, and even the lovingness of the dogs. Heck, this morning I even realized I'd missed the cheerful presence of the parakeet!

A Little (More Like a Lot) about My Trip

Suzanne is really good at planning getaways, and she reserved a cute, nicely furnished little house in Fredericksburg, called Abigail's Cottage. (I love the Internets--you can just SHOW people the house rather than go on about it.) She and I drove over there Friday evening, after a stop at the Burnet Dairy Queen for a decadent "dinner" of a Blizzard shake thing. Deana joined us later in the evening, since she'd been in San Antonio. Her husband deposited her and sped off, which was fine with us! It was great to be in a house, and no more expensive than a hotel! We knitted and chatted until late Friday night, then lazed around the next morning. More decadence. The house has a nice front porch for chatting and swinging.

Saturday during the day, after showering in the amazingly strong footed tub shower, we found the local yarn shop. Of course. We each got some stuff--selection was mostly Rowan, but it was nice, and I enjoyed the rug hooking and spinning stuff in the back, too. What pleased me most was that they had a good amount of naturally colored fibers, local fiber, and organic yarns. I was looking for that for a potential project, so I got good samples to try (there is more on this in the knitting blog). After that wonderful time, we had to eat, so a great lunch was had by us in a place called the Indian Nickel. I had a chicken sandwich with goat cheese and raspberry chipotle sauce.

All fortified up, we then sallied forth to all the girlie shops in Fredericksburg, unburdened by male partners who get sick of beads, jewelry, furniture, clothing and doo-dads. We could dawdle and dream about things we wished we owned to our hearts' content! I was more pleased at the content of the shops on this visit than I had been in the past. There was a lot more locally made stuff, and a greater variety of things than I have been in years prior. There were two really good, inexpensive jewelry stores (both of which got some of my newly available money). Some of the Mexican silver was really nice and really NOT expensive, though it seems to have been made just for the store I was in. In the other place, a guy made most of the things himself. Makes you proud to see a crafter who can make a living at it. His stuff was nice in a Texas-y way. There were also some amazing alabaster plates, bowls and goblets I wanted sooo bad, but managed to resist…at least for a while. Deana did get some.

After we were sufficiently tired, we headed back to the house for more knitting, an attempt to teach me to crochet with beads (I failed, but I did get going on peyote stitch), and watching the other two do beading. Suzanne got my carnelian Buddha bead strung onto a necklace, as you can see, and I like its rusticity. She is going to do more with my other large beads, once I get to her the accessory beads I bought on Sunday. Late in the evening, after dining on snacks, we watched a girly movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. It's something Lee and Beccano would never go for.

Sunday we lazed a bit more, enjoying the house's high-speed Internet, then packed up and headed back for more shopping. When our feet got to hurting too much, we ate at another local store, where I had the German plate (hey, I was in Fredericksburg, land of Germanic Heritage!). They had BOTH the peach cobbler AND chocolate bread pudding. I had eaten so much on the weekendthat I just had a bite of each.

What is sorta amazing is that we went on a holiday in the center of Texas in August and did not get overheated. We had the extreme good fortune of going out there on the first rainy weekend in months. Only we just got a few sprinkles. It was mostly cloudy and relatively cool. We really lucked out. So, all in all, it was a fine trip with some fun companions. We talked a lot about our families and issues, and really were just relaxed and mellow as we could be. Everyone has job stress (well, I don't, but I have an unemployed family member), so it was good to wind down.

The only bad thing was running out of yarn just shy of finishing my latest shawl. Ugh. The best thing was talking about a friend who has passed away with the lady at the store that sells all the cool rocks that my "happy stone" and our favorite candle holder are made of. I knew that friend was involved in this business, but it is so fun to make connections. That reminds me of what was good in that parenting organization. (Of course, it's the conferences I loved the best (the friend who has passed away was a great conference organizer in addition to being incredibly positive and funny no matter how sick she got), and getting out of town with my friends this weekend was the next best thing to going to one of those.)

I have some nice photos of where we stayed on my Flickr pages (scroll quickly through the shots of brown yarn and you will be fine), and will have more after I upload some later pictures.

Good to Be Home

I was so happy to see Lee and the boys, though. I enjoyed a nice dinner with Lee and Beccano, and had a nice time just watching Olympics and chatting. I even enjoyed listening to Tuba Boy's pals wailing away at Rock Band. I was glad that Lee liked the gift I gave him. I liked all the yardwork he did and hope we get tomatoes off his new plants! I must say the roses he planted are looking wonderful.

I know I rambled a bit. Writing in short bursts between Urgent Things to Do is not very conducive to concise, cogent writing. But hey, those of you who read this are my friends and used to me by now, huh! Thanks to Deana and Suzanne for taking the weekend off and letting me come along! It was great.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My precious new pet

It gets sorta lonely at work, where my closest companion is usually my new ergonomic keyboard. Coworkers seem to mostly work from home. But, hey, that's OK! I have a fine new work companion, the precious cricket who surprised me a bit when it walked up the cubicle wall this morning. Since then, it's been hanging around, looking at my Tommy poster (the white thing at bottom left). It's not the same as my bird at home, but at least it's a fellow living being. I wonder how long the little creature will stick around? Should I set out a plate of water. Funny, one cricket is sorta cute. The plague that fell on the yarn shop a few years ago was NOT.

Of course, my office plants are living beings, but they don't have much to say. Everything I have adores low light, so they all look really good, though. I have left my big pothos at home, because it got TOO healthy at The Delicious Company (what do you say when something's delicious?). I've got my waxy leafed thing I got when I was there, plus a dracenia, which are in the photo. And there is a smaller (but rapidly growing) pothos, an arrow leaf plant in a bottle of water that's descended from the one that was a farewell gift from a friend last time I was here at ALE, and a really pretty bumpy-leafed thing called a nephthytis that Lee bought for me a few weeks ago at Home Depot. It needs to be kept moist, so I hope I can handle that. It's label says it loves low light, though. I have them all under the task lights on my desk. Glad I have a normal sized cubicle, so I can have more plants. They really help with the mood thing.

My mood has been OK, though yet another shooting in a liberal place (Arkansas Democratic HQ) has me more than a little spooked. I was thinking about being a campaign volunteer, but now I don't know. Can't live in fear, I know. And I am a bit concerned about my dad, who is going to have to move to some borderline assisted living place/apartment because there is something wrong with my stepmother, which no one will tell me about. She's really pushed him to do it, and it looks like the time will be after his birthday in February. Dad is so healthy and robust and active. He needs real work to do, not "activities" to keep him busy in a "home." I hope he will be able to get out and do his thing for a long time. And at least he will be secure knowing his wife has people nearby to watch over her.

I did order a book called Are You Really Too Sensitive? which is no best seller, but came recommended by a friend, and well, I need to always be working on that issue. I am doing a lot of research on being sensitive these days. It is not a horrible character flaw, really! There is a LOT of good about it. Google the phrase "highly sensitive person" and you can probably find a test that tells you if you are one of us or not.

So, things are motoring along. The kids survived band camp, and Beccano ended up enjoying it. We had my knitting group at the pizza place yesterday, and it was fun, though there was some glare that bugged folks. Austin's Pizza really, really has good pizza. The fresh veggie one I ate yesterday was divine. Other than that, we watch Olympics and pet dogs. Lee is really hoping his job search will end. I know how he feels. It sure would be nice to have two incomes. But, we are muddling through, planning the wedding and getting ready for school to start on the 26th. Sniff. I will be the mother of a senior.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun and Less Fun

Beccano and Pals
Originally uploaded by sunasak
It's been a good weekend with lots of knitting and Olympic watching. Friday evening was full, but really nice. We went to the annual "watermelon social," which is where the high school band shows off what it has learned after its first week of band camp. It's very exciting for parents of freshmen! I'm not a parent of a freshman any more, so I mainly used it as a chance to catch up with other band parents. But, here's Beccano grinning because he and his friends were tired of their doting parents. His "pit" crew has special t-shirts, which was a nice thing for the kid in charge to do for them. All the tubas wore hats and sunglasses--Tuba Boy had a lovely pink hat he borrowed from someone.

We mostly hoped the darned thing would end soon, since we'd planned to go listen to Danny Santos play at Artz, joined by Jeff and our friend Eddie. Funny enough, I only do three websites any more, and all three of them were in the band. We did get to see the second set, and it was very enjoyable--I forgot I was watching my friends and just enjoyed the music for much of the time. It helped that Danny, world's most "frugal" musician, even bought me a beer to thank me for fixing up his website.

And Saturday was a fine day. I got my knitting student going on knitting, helped a lady who was SURE her sweater wasn't knitting up right (turned out she WAS right--the sweater knits backward!). Then, my friends Suzanne, Deana and I went to check out yet another bead store in town. Deana got some nice beads for a shawl--I do love picking things like that out. She's going to teach me some beading techniques, too.

After the fun time at the bead shop, I noticed there is a bridal store in that shopping center. I suggested we go look around, since I actually had friends who could help me look at dresses. Well, we did go in, and we even found a couple of nice dresses. But, no one even looked at us. All the ladies were fawning over a young thing trying on white dresses. We asked for a dressing room and were shown a room that smelled like poop. Lovely. So I tried things on REAL fast. As we left, some lounging employee said, "Thanks for coming by," and Suzanne retorted, as we exited, something like, "No need to thank us, since no one waited on us." Guess I will find somewhere else to get a dress.

I realize I was looking at items under $300, not items around $3,000, but a sale's a sale. And brides who are older deserve to be treated like brides, too. Sigh.

I'm getting myself some pampering, though. Those two and I (known as a Mormon, a Methodist and a Unitarian) are going to go rent a little weekend house in Fredericksburg and have some fun next weekend. It's the last free weekend before school starts. I hope we can shop, eat some food, and do some crafts. It is nice of Lee to let me go do that. But, I am hoping to heck we can take our own nice vacation or get a wonderful getaway for our honeymoon!

Today I did another knitting thing--I think I may be going overboard in the hanging out with folks dept., but it is making me feel a lot better to be around supportive folks. There's lots of adversity going on among people I know--and I want to be able to be there for them, as they are for me right now.

I did spend some time with Lee and the boys today. We went to the bookstore, where I brilliantly forgot the names of BOTH books I wanted to read. I got Beccano a cool book about guitars, which I think we will all enjoy.

OK, back to real life. I'll write more! You know that.

PS: Thanks to Dragonfly for the nice comments on the last few posts. I appreciate them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

8 Things for 08/08/08

[Eek, I accidentally posted this to the knitting blog yesterday (I am writing this on the 9th, but back-dating the post). Luckily eagle-eyed Lee spotted the mix up. OOOPS.]

Well, poop, no Friday's Feast again. It's been a month, so I guess it is dead. Fine. I will make up my own thing.

Suna's Eight Great Assertions on 08/08/08

1. It is my friend Diana's birthday. How cool to have such a fun day for your birthday! I know a lot of weddings are going on today, too!

2. The high school band season starts today. We go to the "Watermelon Social" today, which includes a frenzy of buying band booster stuff.

3. I feel good, really good, for the first time in a long time. It's like the universe shifted and things are more favorable to me. I will enjoy that as long as it lasts! Maybe it's that happy rock Nancy gave me.

4. I got a really cool present from my first significant other, whom I have known since 9th grade. It was so exciting to see his handwriting on the envelope! More details to come when I have a picture.

5. Lee planted me some new flowers. Even a hibiscus! They are near the front door, so I will see them a lot. Plus, he put some more on the side yard, and those sunflowers are growing like crazy. Even in the third hottest summer ever, we have some nice, cheerful plants. (Lee also has fixed some of the weird wiring on our light switches. Soon they will be back to how they were before XH re-did them for his X10 system.)

6. My "be a better friend" campaign is going well, too. I get to go bead shopping with TWO friends tomorrow. Maybe three, who knows? And I sent an online friend a whole bunch of dishcloths, which I hope cheer her up. Plus, I sent a stranger some leftover yarn. I don't usually do all the "exchanges" and "secret pals" knitters do, but I saw a request for some yarn and I actually had some. Why not?

7. I get to see Lee do music in public again on Sunday. He's playing guitar at the church service.

8. I like my job. I haven't been able to say THAT since March 2007. I am glad to be back. Even if it's a place with low morale, it's low morale with nice, straightforward people.

I hope you have 8 great things in your life today. Heck, I even have MORE. Maybe I'll go on some more tomorrow!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We have a date! Etc.

Happy Couple
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Mark your calendars: We finally have settled on a wedding date, which will be Saturday, November 29, 2008. That is Thanksgiving weekend. We decided to not do it on Friday, in case people come home on Friday and might be here Saturday, or they might want to have the holiday at home and travel to here on Friday. I think the time will be late afternoon.

In any case, all our friends and family are welcome. This means YOU. We aren't sending out formal invitations except to a couple of older family members who expect such things. If you like unique but not overly weird ceremonies, you'll like ours, which we plan to have at the labyrinth at our church, weather permitting. We have some fun reception ideas, too, many involving foods prepared from holiday leftovers.

I'm hoping this will be a good excuse to see old friends and missing family members, hear some good music, and eat some good food. And we can acknowledge the commitment that is already in our hearts in front of the whole world. We are still happy with each other as we were in the picture here, which was taken at Yuletime 2006, ALE when we had first gotten together.

Speaking of old friends, my new-found resolution to re-connect with them is going well already. Yesterday my friend Nancy from San Antonio came up after an appointment in south Austin, and we had lunch. She shared some of her recent experiences with the people I worked with at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization. Some of the news she shared was very, very good, while other stuff was just incredibly sad. I kept thinking trite things like, "Why can't people just be nice to each other?" and "Whatever happened to the Golden Rule?" People I used to think were kind, caring and ethical people have acted in ways I would never have imagined. I can't help but be surprised, and I can't help but wonder if I was really such a bad judge of character, or have people been duped into thinking such actions are justified? On the other hand, I continue to be amazed at, proud of, and grateful for the friends I still have who do treat each other kindly, even when they disagree. That's what I want to do. I am practicing really, really hard in a few cases!

Nancy gave me a nice piece of yellow fluorite, which I believe is from that cache in Utah where our candle similar holder came from. it is to be a happy rock, and help deal with negativity. All my other rocks seem worn out, so it's good to get a new one!

The whole day was good. I enjoyed work...the people are very nice. And I enjoyed knitting afterwards, though I had to work a bit longer due to my long lunch. Sometimes, when I sit there listening to the ladies at the yarn shop, I just want to hug them all for being so uplifting, generous and fun. That is one place I have made some real friends with no baggage attached.

A worry. I am concerned that so many of my friends, online and in real life, seem to be dealing with bad bouts of depression. Is there something in the air? Is it the times? Is it just coincidence? I know lots of people deal with this really difficult condition, but wow, the people I know who usually cope or are doing OK just don't seem to be these days. If you are one of them, and you haven't been in touch because of it, know I do care and am wishing you the best. I am always here to listen, whether in person, on the phone, or by email.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Watching Them Grow

My boys are getting big, both in size and mental maturity. I am a proud mother in that I am happy to see how well adjusted they are, for the most part, and what good choices they seem to make. Sure, they have their lapses, some of which are doozies, but mostly they seem on the right track. It is weird watching them grow up, knowing that soon I will have to send them out into the big, wide world. I see signs of maturity in both of them, which is nice, but it's bittersweet to see them need me less and less. On the other hand, it's right on schedule!

Let's take Tuba Boy. More like, let's watch numerous attractive girls take Tuba Boy. Just LOOK at him--this is a senior picture candidate--lots of hair, but a good looking boy. He's quite the charmer as well, though he seems to be pretty careful not to let himself get entangled after last year's episode that led to heartbreak of some sort. He is always at one lovely person's house or another watching movies (or with his male friends--he is not exclusive to anyone). But I did note, when I heard him on the phone to one of these girls, a tone of voice that would have made ME swoon as a teen. A soft, suave sound that he definitely does NOT use with his parents or brother. Mostly, though, I am glad he is having fun, coming home at OK hours, and letting me know where he is. He is pushing things just enough to remind me he is 17.5, but not so much that he loses privileges.

I can't help but be impressed with his choice of friends, his choice of dates (lots of Asian girls, reminding me of my Asian boy trend when I was young), and his reasoning. I make sure to listen to him when he explains to me why he doesn't want to do something I want him to, or vice versa. And many times he has good reasons. I make sure that I change my mind some, and not just impose my will "because I say so." I want him to know I am still the mom, but I trust him and will back him up if he has good reasons for what he's doing. So, this morning I let him skip band camp, for good reason.

Beccano, an endless source of amusement in my life, is also really maturing--and in some ways faster than his brother (he is showing a lot more signs of fiscal and family responsibility). I can't help but get tickled at his sense of humor. Check out the photo that he wanted me to take, since it depicts "two heavy metal fans, in black." "Lot's o' LULZ" is what he'd say about that. He is a lot of help to me and Lee, as well as a lot of fun to be around.

Last night he had me re-do his hair braid. I noticed he had cut a bunch of it off. That really surprised me. He'd never have done that all on his own. And, whoa. Is that child's hair LONG. When you un-curl it, it's to his mid back. You can see in this mandolin photo that it's copious, but like Lee, his hair seems to want to stay around his shoulders. Ah well, youth is the time to have lovely long hair, I guess! And he's still playful and fun, so he isn't leaving us any time soon.

Both boys right now are very sore from band camp. That's what sitting around all summer does for you. (Though Tuba Boy worked a lot, so he got some exercise.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fun Music Night

ELAB on Stage
Originally uploaded by sunasak
Hey, thanks to everyone who came by BB Rover's last night or thought of it. We got through out performance without any huge mistakes, but were somewhat dismayed when we realized we'd have to perform outdoors. Our friends roasted a bit, but we had lots of lovely water, and we made it! It was nice that lots of friends from church showed up, plus a whole bunch of their teen kids and their friends. I am not sure WHY they came to a folkie open night, but it was nice. We did drag Beccano along, but he got to leave as soon as his brother got off work (he did say we sounded good, which was nice). Since Austin's keyboard really doesn't make enough sound (it lost one speaker), we had to bring both bass amps. That's lots of heavy lifting. It is surprising how nice the piano sounds in Lee's newer amp.

Lee and I, along with our friends Karen and Scott, stuck around through a bunch of other acts. It was a real mixed bag, as you'd expect, but there were a couple of very pleasant surprises. There was a duo of rather young, clean-cut fellows wearing red shirts and khaki shorts. One had a guitar and one a bass. Well, they were a bit quiet, but their harmonies were delicately lovely, and the music a neat jazz/rock mix. I talked to them for a minute after they were finished, and they said it was their first public performance. What a treat! After some more nutty and/or loud groups (many of which seemed to be related to the quirkily enthusiastic autoharp/harmonica player who helps run the show, there was another very pleasant surprise. A guy named Dave Ransom (I think) came up and played some mind-boggling guitar (using techniques I had never seen before--a lot like some of those folk prodigies we used to see at the Live Oak Coffeehouse). He then sang a couple of songs, and we were all favorably impressed with his range and technique. He is new to town, but should go far--he was far and away the most professional person there. Here is a bit more on him.

Anyway, the reason we were waiting around was that Lee signed up to do some songs on his own. That's him in the dim picture! He did three of his own songs, and by the end was really sounding wonderful (weird microphone issues messed up the first song a little). I was really proud of him--it takes a lot of bravery to stand up and do your own stuff. I hope he does more. If I were still doing grateful Monday, it would surely be gratitude for the chance to have interesting musical experiences.

That's the report on that! There isn't much else to report, so I will save some energy for another post tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Something to Do on a Sunday Night

Hey, if you live near north Austin and aren't watching the finale of Design Star, or the Olympics or something, and perhaps are thirsty for beer, you might want to head down to BB Rover's and check out their open mic night. My friends and I will be playing there at some point, probably fairly early in the evening (8-ish?). If you want to see Lee's new bass in person, it's your big chance. I'm hoping the guys don't get nerved out and do all the songs super-fast, as they have done in the past. Otherwise, I look forward to it. We do folk-y stuff with lots of harmonies. And we are OK, not rock-star great (well, Lee's bass playing is great).

BB's is at:
12636 Research Blvd # B101
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 335-9504

We're supposed to have another booking there some Tuesday in the fairly near future. I hope so, because we are only doing a few songs with Austin on keyboard tonight, and I like a lot of the songs he plays guitar on better.

And speaking of music, I got Beccano a starter mandolin yesterday. Danny Rae's, where we get our music stuff and where his lessons are, has the Fender beginner kit for less than anywhere else in town, and he really misses having a mandolin around the house (it was his first stringed instrument, but Jeff sold his, so he had to stop learning). I'm enjoying listening to him pick out songs and realize he can't play it the same as the guitar, LOL. And we listened to a really good John Fogerty DVD last night. That man still has incredible energy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

7 Deadly Sins?

Everything's just fine. I enjoyed two days of training, fulfilling my obligation to the nice place I was before going to ALE. I really liked that job a lot--I met some real interesting people there, but I don't know if I could have made it on just 2-4 work days a week. It's pretty tiring to talk for a whole day, especially if you are introverted, but I still liked it. And yesterday, as I was leaving, I saw a fellow bobbing around and aiming his phone in front of himself. It looked odd, so I looked his way as I walked past. He then asked me, "Hey, is this normal?" I looked in front of a wall (which had blocked my view coming out of the building) to see a young armadillo strolling around the building grounds. I guess the guy hadn't lived here long, so he didn't know if you see a lot of them. I told him you didn't usually see them during the day like that, so it is unusual. I tried to get a couple of pictures, but will have to see how they look once I get them off the it's uploaded and you can see it, too! Anyway, that and Chinese food for dinner were the highlights of my last couple of days! Guess I better fill some space somehow, so...

I saw this meme on someone's blog and decided to fill it in. I realize I am pretty boring in the deadly sin department, after reading over my answers. Since things aren't all that fascinating at home, and Friday's Feast is still MIA, I guess I'll be having to resort to memes for a bit.


1. Who did you last get angry with?

- Executive Director and Board chair of a nonprofit organization. Nothing I can do to remedy the situation.

2. What is your weapon of choice?

- Sarcasm. I have worked for many years to use it less and less.

3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?

- I do not plan to.

4. How about of the same sex?

-I do not plan to.

5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?

- Tuba Boy over some teen thing, but it was so long ago I forget what it was.

6. What is your pet peeve?

-Just one?? Friends who dump you and talk about you behind your back.

7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?

-I find it hard to erase hurt feelings. But I do forgive.


1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you don’t?

- Clean the house

2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up?

- Noon as a teen.

4. What is the last lame excuse you made?

- I left an event saying I needed to check on Beccano, when really I just wanted to leave a crowd.

5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?

- No.

6. When was the last time you got in a good workout?

- Last Monday when I walked all over the campus at work to get my name tag and such.

7. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today?

- None. I get up when I am awakened.


1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?

- Nonfat sugar-free caramel misto.

2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat??


3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting/outing/event?

- At a choir Christmas party during the really, really bad year. I am not sure if it was 2002 or 2003. I should not have driven home after all that high-quality tequila.

4. Have you ever used a professional diet company?

- Nope. Eat less, and exercise more.

5. Do you have an issue with your weight?

- Not in the past few years. I just diet again for a while when it starts to creep up.

6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy?

- Spicy then salty.

7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought “lunch”?

- I guess not--that idea has never occurred to me.


1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family)?

- No clue, around 50 I guess. I don't do public showers and have not been to a nude beach, so all I have are people I have had sex with and people who changed clothing in front of me.

2. How many people have seen YOU naked (not counting physicians/family)?

- See above.

3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of the opposite gender during a normal conversation?

Yup. Both. Sometimes women's jiggling can distract anyone.

4. Have you ever kissed two people in one night?

- Yep.

5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice?

- A beautifully tapered back.

6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?

-Not that I am aware of. I am not sure if I have ever met one.


1. How many credit cards do you own?

- 3

2. What’s your guilty pleasure store?

- Yarn shop.

3. Would you rather be rich, or famous?

- Rich - because then I could just sit and knit or read all day.

4. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks?

-Maybe, if I could knit or write when no one is looking.

5. Have you ever stolen anything?

- Nothing other than accidentally forgetting to pay for something small at the grocery store and finding it sitting in the cart when I got to the car.

6. How many MP3s are on your hard drive?

- Hundreds, not sure how many because I am not in the room with it.


1. What’s one thing you have done that you’re most proud of?

- A website I am no longer doing.

2. What one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of?

- I would hope the kids, but bet it's the advanced degree.

3. What things would you like to accomplish in your life?

-I'd like to get a knitting book published, I'd like to get work helping others again, and I'd like to be a good life partner

4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?

- Especially when it comes to jobs.

5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors?

- Yes (knitting).

6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score?

- No need to.

7. What did you do today that you’re proud of?

- Sent supportive email to a few friends.


1. What item (or person) of your friends would you most want to have for your own?

- I'd like some of Diane at the yarn shop's fancy, expensive yarn.

2. Who would you want to go on “Trading Spaces” with?

-Stephanie Kendall, a lady at church who is REALLY good with decor, and no relation to me at all.

3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?

- I'll stay me.

4. Have you ever been cheated on?

- If so, they have been very discreet.

5. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own?

- I wish I had a more athletic build.

6. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself?

- Thick skin--the ability to shrug off insults and unkindnesses.