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!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Improvements, of All Sorts

Today I have too many things to blog about. We'll see how far I get!

Samhain was not the usual festival of pagan fun and frolic it usually is in our family, due to a football game's interference. But, there was an improvement: the football team managed to win--finally they found an offense worse than our defense and vice versa. Oh well, the other team's band was good. The highlight for me was that there was a feature of the drumline and percussion pit, where they all wore sunglasses. The lowlights were twofold: first, one of my little charges fell and hurt his head, which made me worry about him, and second, the cuteness of senior recognition night was marred by not seeing my own senior in the group. Sniff. At least there's one more game, and I am proud that he took a lot of responsibility in the debate tournament our school hosted.

The church grounds got an environmental improvement award today. Hella has worked very hard for the past few years, and I have showed you photos of her gardening work before on these pages. Well, today she got an award from the county native gardening society (I totally forget the actual name of the folks, but they were real nice) for her work on the grounds of our church, from the beautiful front garden to the wildflowers, to the perserved woods around the labyrinth (where the wedding will be!). We are really proud of her. The photo shows Hella, minister Kathleen and the organizational representative at the ceremony in the gardens this afternoon (below is a butterfly from the garden--it's just full of monarchs right now). We also celebrated the 90th birthday of a church member and the purchase of a tent for people in Darfour by our youth group. All of that is fine stuff!

My wedding prep is also improving. Today I met with Elizabeth, the newly minted chef who volunteered to make our wedding cake. She is taking it very seriously, with her notebook and list of recipes from the culinary academy. Unfortunately, she doesn't own the pans and stuff, so I will get them for her (she needed a graduation gift anyway, LOL). And her kitchen is cramped, so she is going to bake the cakes at our house. We'll be seeing a lot of her that weekend, since she, her boyfriend and her mom are also joining us for Thanksgiving. That leads to another improvement: that doesn't stress me out at all. I think we will all have fun, and with my sister to help me cook, it should be OK. See, what a great attitude! The cake(s) will be really nice, too, especially if I find the great cake toppers I hope to find. (I did find one, which will be a surprise, thanks to Jennifer in Florida's suggestion to check Etsy for them.)

And finally, there is home improvement. Most of our projects are finished, and we are very happy with the work the contractor and crew performed. There's a little paint on the carpet, and some stain on the inside of the door that should not be there, but otherwise it's great.

I am including a bunch of photos here for your enjoyment or snoozing, as you see fit. Here are some of the things to look for (not using bulleted lists because Blogger's photos and bullets don't interact very well on some browsers):

***The walls are a nice shade of light tan, no longer orangey. It is slightly different from what it used to be, but if you don't have a sample of the old color, you'll never know.

***We have gutters. We used to only have them in the front. They even put those nice ending things on them, so the rain won't mess up the flower beds or lawn.

***The main trim is a nice deep green, and that scary rust color is the under-trim, and what you see around the windows. I really, really like how it looks on the back of the house. it used to be extremely bland and ugly. Now it looks warm and inviting, at least to me, so don't ruin my illusion, OK? The colors almost make it look "craftsman-like" around the back door and side.

***Around the front door there is more green than there used to be, and what you can't see is that they painted the porch ceiling, way up there, the rust color. Quite a touch. And the front door is stained a much darker brown than it used to be. I am not sure if it is my ideal color, but I picked it, so it's my fault! At least it no longer looks sad and worn out.

***The garage doors are the only part of the house with a lot of the rust color. But I think it looks great. Unfortunately, part of the door broke, so they are having to replace some of the panels. There is extra paint, whew. What pleases me most about the garage is that some horrible-looking warped boards from our house's initial cheap trim are GONE. The house looks great from a distance, or will when the construction debris is gone and the motorcycle no longer decorates the lawn. I hope we can get it in the garage one day!

***Then there is the new patio! I am so happy to use the bricks left over from building the house for something other than my endless poorly constructed flower-bed edgings. The guys still are going to stain the concrete and edge the Texas paver in the rust color. Everyone thinks it is oh-so-cleverly U of Texas, but well, I am not too fond of that place right now, so I am hoping it adds to resale value!

It's hard to describe how good I feel about these repairs and improvements. I was really worried for a few years that I would not be able to keep the house up without the help of the big salary of my ex. What I have made has let me cover utilities and the mortgage, but not left a lot of savings for these kinds of things--those of you who have read for a long time know that every time I have saved a bit, something big has broken--like an air conditioning unit or a roof. I really appreciate that Lee is welling to join with me and get this stuff done! I feel like, even in these hard times, we can make it. We are a team! And I am not going to lose the house, at least for a while!

Another improvement is my self improvement. I have actually enjoyed the last few days of presidential campaigning. McCain was funny on Saturday Night Live, and I have been so happy to see some of the folks coming out for is moving. I just hope all our votes count.

I've been reading my book on highly sensitive people and work. I figured out why I stopped reading it before--it was hitting the nail on the head about my March-May job a little too precisely. No wonder I was miserable. Sometimes it helps me to remind myself about how my personality works. Not that it's bad; it's just different from the majority. Other people's personalities and attitudes affect me more than some people. And doing meaningless work where you don't feel like you are contributing just doesn't work for me, at all. I am going to try to figure out how to do what is best for me--which seems to be a rather more independent set-up than I've had since I left the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization. But for now, I have found a nice spot in ALE where I do feel like I am making a contribution and am doing one of my favorite things. This is enabling me to recover a bit. The book says that a really bad job can make an HSP get post-traumatic stress syndrome. I don't know about that--it seems a bit much, but, I do relish the chance to rest and recuperate, on my way to the next adventure!

Well, it is late, and I know I have forgotten some things. Oh, here's a plug for Guitar Girl's guitaring. Go see how well she did in a windy outdoor location last week!


Vicki said...

I always enjoy what you write, and I appreciate your photos, so don't worry about boring this particular reader. Anyway, it's your blog - you go ahead and post whatever you want.

I have to agree with you that the most important thing about noticing a way you're different from the majority is being able to accept and really believe that it's not a flaw in yourself. Once you can internalize that feeling that it's simply a difference (and differences are good, right?!) you can stop feeling badly every time you notice yourself being that way. Well, that was not very clearly written but i hope you understand what I mean.

I think your sensitivity is part of what makes you a person I am proud to be friends with. It seems to me that being sensitive makes you think hard about the way you want yourself, others and the world to be. That type of thinking is what makes the world better. How can that be a bad thing?

PS I sure wish we weren't still in debt from our trip to Japan cause I would love to come for your wedding.

Suna said...

Thanks, Vicki.

Also, I want to remind myself to not say things like, "I think things are OK, at least for a while." As soon as I say that, things get not OK. ALE has announced they will be dumping contractors due to lack of consumer confidence.

Tina said...

Holy crap, Suna, is that the same house???

The patio is AMAZING, and everything looks really, really nice. I guess it's been too long since I've been over to visit. But I have yet another new work schedule, so maybe I'll have some free time one of these days.

Dragonfly said...

I've been told several times that I'm different than normal, but luckily it's always worked in my favor. I find that the extra bounce of empathy offers me better insight into "why" things are happening which eventually helps me, help others get past them. Which sounds very zen considering I'm basically in an IT type position, but it's true. I once had a manager tell me that normally he would say that I was getting too close to people, or to users, but it always seemed to work for me and I had the best relationships so he said he'd just leave me alone about it.

I love the way the house looks!