There's More to Life Than Knitting!

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Near Pea Crisis Averted!

As you probably know, I am originally from the Deep South in the US (scenic Gainesville, Florida, as I like to remind folks). My parents were full of southern traditions, and one of those was to have a delicious New Year’s meal of black-eyed peas, rice, collard greens and cornbread each year. Yes, tradition holds that the beans and greens bring you bucks and also some luck, but my main reason to do it is that I just LOVE this meal. (I looked it up on Wikipedia (source of the photo at left) and discovered that eating the black-eyed-peas started ages ago, and as recorded in the Talmud in 500 BCE. So it’s also a Jewish tradition. Well, what do you know?

Of course, I intended to honor this tradition this year. We headed out to the grocery store last night after work, intending to get those lovely fresh peas they always have. There weren’t any. But I did get some pre-cleaned collard greens, even though that’s cheating. I really am willing to spend a half hour chopping and de-veining greens. So, off we went to the dried bean department. Um. There were about 6 dozen packs of navy beans, some green peas, some lentils and some dried garbanzos. NO black-eyed-peas. I was not pleased. I do NOT want to eat canned peas, even those ones that claim they are oh-so-traditionally done. They put stuff in them that may not be what I want to put in MY peas. I warily bought some dried baby lima beans. Not the same.

We came home (after stocking up on 50% off Christmas candy to stock my candy bowl at work for the next couple of months) and I cautiously approached the pantry, fingers crossed. Would there just possibly be a bag of dried black-eyed-peas there? It’s hard to find anything in there, with the interesting collection of things that now dwells on the floor, but, I stumbled to the bean section and, lo and behold, my heart filled with joy. A bag of fine looking black-eyed-peas greeted me. I’ll put them on to soak tonight!


PS: One thing I am very grateful for is that all my family will eat black-eyed peas. I do make them a pork roast to go with it, since the men-folk seem to think that a ham hock in the peas does not constitute the “meat” portion of a “balanced meal.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In between Holiday Happenings

Oh goodness, I just realized I hadn’t posted anything since Christmas. I am sure my two fans are just chomping at the bit for more (yes, perhaps I’d have more fans if this blog weren’t so well hidden, and I am thinking maybe it will be OK to let this be less hidden soon). I've added random photos of the kids' gifts. The one at left is Beccano after following a ribbon to find his acoustic guitar hiding in the closet.

The days right after Christmas would have been a lot harder except I spent a lot of time at the yarn store on Friday and Saturday. Answering knitting questions makes it easier to deal with a lack of children to hang out with. No one was pleased to learn that the boys’ flight out of Wisconsin was canceled Friday. They were ready to come home, and I think their other family was ready, too. The flight was canceled again on Saturday, but the step-grandparents graciously agreed to drive them and their dad/stepmom to O’Hare, so they could leave from there. It was a long drive. Very nice of them. I know two very grateful boys.

Saturday ended up being OK, because after the yarn shop, Parker came by to visit Beccano’s new guitar and show us her birthday guitar (1992, her birth year, barely, since today she is 16), and we did the usual laughing our heads off at the Internets stuff, and spent a lot of time texting the kids at the airport. We even cheered Lee up, though I think the two days he spent running limbs through the shredder and cleaning up the back yard had him fairly cheery. Yes, we had an exciting week off, folks.

At right Tuba Boy shows his favorite gift, a huge external hard drive, which he really needed to hold all his tunes (he is using a very small laptop right now, and running out of space).

The kids straggled in after 1 am Sunday morning, but we were all up mid-morning to open gifts. We had our traditional cinnamon rolls from a can, and as usual, all the dogs joined us in the sitting room as we opened. It really was great to see the kids’ faces when they got stuff they didn’t expect. Tuba Boy was giddy over a gigantic hard drive Lee got him, and Beccano was visibly tickled at a guitar effects pedal from Lee, as well. It sounds like a ton of fun, listening to it. Even Jeff liked it—he has the same model. Beccano had fun following a ribbon to find his acoustic guitar, which he proceeded to play for the next hour. So, he must like that. Tuba Boy’s guitar is still not here, sigh. Maybe today…(nope, now schedule for the end of January, DARN IT).

Yes, the day was topped off by a reasonably nice meal (hint, giant potatoes take forever to bake) at which Jeff joined us. He really liked Beccano’s new guitars, and he helped Lee install the BluRay player. I am glad, because I would have been much less helpful. It was really a pleasant evening and a nice day, even if Lee and I were both vaguely depressed and not sure why.

At left, Beccano is cracking up because "Bad Santa" gave him candy cigarettes. I knew it would amuse them to no end, since they aren't around a lot of smoking, and I don't think had ever seen candy cigarettes. A lot of posing has gone on, and laughing at the horrid taste--cigarettes aren't even good as candy!

Yesterday was our one month anniversary (and we still like each other). I went to work, but came home in the afternoon, since it was deathly quiet, and I can proofread from home just as well. Not quiet at home, with the dogs erupting every time a child goes outside to play. I was able to give Beccano a ride to the first rehearsal of his new band, Triskelion (ooh) which is really Parker’s new band, I guess. He is playing bass, so we had to get the gigantic amp in the car. I am glad he’s willing to play bass, so he can at least get some group music experience in. And he sounds pretty good on it (there is a recording they made for practice on their MySpace page and yes, I still am not fond of MySpace). He thinks other friends are forming a band that he can be guitar person on, which would also be nice. After all that practicing, he really should play with others more. That is a skill you need to get!

My entire evening (and much of the previous day) was spent putting wedding photos into a rather nonstandard size for the digital photo frame I got my parents. In the end, I put in 363 photos. I had to lighten a lot of them, since it got dark during the wedding, and our new camera’s flash isn’t too great. That added to the time. But, hey, they have over 6 hours of things to look at now! I am going to make them a copy of the wedding DVD and send it to them, hoping that it is a good enough gift that they will forgive it not showing up at Christmas. While doing that, I did a very long online chat with my email friends, who were in multiple crisis mode—glad I was just a consoler and not a crisis-haver. And I was listening to Lee try out the new harmony generator that I ended up getting him at least part of for Christmas instead of fixing his guitar (I also got him really, really nice knives). I expect hours and hours of harmonizing fun with that. It is easier to sing with than I thought it would be.

I can’t believe I spent this much space writing about not much going on. But, honestly, it’s nice to have not much going on. Tuba Boy is working a lot and has plenty of friends to hang with. Beccano is doing music. Lee is harmonizing. I can do whatever I want. Not bad.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holidays and More Animals in the Road

ELAB Sr. and Trumpet Music
Originally uploaded by sunasak
How we spent our Christmas. We cooked a nice meal that could be transported to the land between Yorktown and Nordheim, Texas, and we took it to Lee's dad this morning. We then managed to cook or heat up (without a working oven) ham, yams, mashed potatoes, that green bean casserole that people other than me eat, and ELAB Sr.'s favorite sweet and sour cucumber salad. Plus we brought two pies and some cookies. He seemed pretty darned happy to have a Christmas dinner.

He also seemed to love his gifts, which were trumpet music (including music from Pirates of the Caribbean, which of course he has never seen), and a new pair of house socks I made for him. Oh, and candy, which he claims to have "too much of" but I think he secretly would take all he could get of.

Ornery old men and ornery sons often get testy, so I had them drive me around to look at all the neighboring towns when they got to arguing with each other. Then we fed the cows, new heifers, which Lee's dad is training to be friendly, and which also will have little calves in March. I hope these get to stay a while. One cow was very suspicious of me and would not eat until I stopped taking pictures of them. All three are lovely, shiny and black, mostly Angus.

I took a bunch of pictures of the farm, which I always seem to do, including cool black vultures who want to nest on the farm, a scenic bucket of leaves, and some very artistic cow poop which you see on the right. If you click the top picture on this post, the rest are near it on Flickr. There are also lots of nice photos of the new cows.

Later on, Lee's dad was sure he saw a fire, so we drove off to check it out, only to encounter a bunch of cattle in the road, running loose. They weren't doing much other than eating that grass that is always greener on the other side of the fence, but when we stopped so I could take their pictures, one of them was positive we had food in the truck, so she came right up to check us out. Everyone else started mooing their bovine heads off. So, after a few parting shots, we departed before starting a stampede. So, this makes two exciting encounters with livestock in the road in a few short months! I do lead a life of excitement, don't I? Oh yeah, and there was no fire. It was just haze or something. The long distances in the empty, vast countryside can fool with your eyes.

But seriously, it was nice to take some Christmas cheer to someone, and it reminded both of us that Christmas is a time for giving to those you love. I am glad we could make Christmas nice for Lee's dad.

I miss the kids though. Thank goodness they are scheduled to come home tomorrow. Send good weather vibes. And I hope your day was good.

Merry Christmas!

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a day of rest and relaxation with friends and family. I am heading off with Lee to the empty part of Texas to spend the day with his dad. We are taking a holiday dinner to him, to avoid the holiday cafeteria experience. And because it is nice, and fun.

I will have much more to report tomorrow! And the kids get back tomorrow night, if the weather allows!

And to the non-celebrators--enjoy a day of very little traffic!!

PS: If you read both my blogs, forgive me for posting this twice. Gotta get in the car and go!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am very well rested, since I slept most of the day, and when I wasn't sleeping I was knitting. I did finish the first of the socks for Lee's dad, so I should get those done in time.

I had a headache most of the day, perhaps due to drinking last night, though really I didn't have all that much. We did go to a very nice solstice/holiday party last night. We saw old work friends again, but I also got to meet some new people, which was nice. The hosts recently moved to a cool new house in east Austin, one of those "new urban neighborhoods." It was fun to see how the house was laid out. It was just like in one of those home magazines!

Today, like I said, had very few huge highlights, but it was nice that Lee came home for lunch and made tuna salad. One treat was that my neighbor noticed on my Facebook profile that I am a big fan of Legion of Superheroes comics, so he made me copies of some PDFs of old comics that he had. That makes up for all the comics I bought but have lost! I sure love my Legion of Superheroes!

The other interesting tidbit was that I got a call in the afternoon from someone saying they had a package of mine. I wondered how she knew my phone number, then I realized I AM listed! Duh. But, when I got do the house (same house number, street starts with the same two letters), she came out and we realized we were both band/guard parents. Duh again. I am glad my email list Yule gift arrived! And that it found me after being mis-delivered, because we open them tomorrow. Of course, mine is not mailed yet, due to a late arrival of one component. Darn.

My kids are esconced in a huge house in Wisconsin, surrounded by snow and cold. I miss them more than usual, I guess because I am worried about Tuba Boy. He sounds fine, though.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'll Have a Blue Solstice without You...

It's been a weird few days for me, emotionally. Really, there is nothing horribly wrong, but I am just having seasonal blues, I guess.



We plan to celebrate by going to a former work colleague's house for a party, and maybe somewhere else. We can't stay too late, because, sigh, tomorrow my kids leave for 5 days in Wisconsin the the step-grands. I am glad they get to go, but I will miss seeing Beccano with His Precious Guitar (that's them in the picture), and I am worried about Tuba Boy, who seems to be separated from Lovely Girlfriend all of a sudden (they were perfectly fine when I last saw them at 11 pm last night, and certainly were ACTING friendly). And of course, he won't talk about it. I will certainly miss her cheerful presence, but more, I will miss HIS cheerfulness for the past month or so. It was so nice having him in a good mood. He even hugged me recently without me asking him to.

Of course, I'll still have Lee and Rose. They add cheer to the home. But I am also really sad at Gwynneth's declining ability to walk. I really feel bad for her, and she keeps getting worse, then getting better. So I don't know what to do.

Today we had the annual "choir service" at church, when we usually do some sort of lovely music full of holiday cheer. This year we had "the children" as they are always called at our church, to help. None of them would sing by themselves, so we also got "the parents." It was an entire program of the Best of Bing Crosby and the Muppets Christmas. Oh, and that Peanuts song. The program had a lot of hitches, drama, crying, whining and walking on the stage in tap shoes (what parent REALLY puts those on a kid to walk back and forth across a stage in?).

OK, so I am obviously grumpy, but I got a bad feeling during the whole thing, and I got less and less able to sing. I found out later that there was some upsetness off-stage that I was sort of tuning into, I guess. Nonetheless, I did a great job on a solo on the prelude to "Silver Bells," (which was supposed to be someone else's but she didn't show), and I did a really hilarious job making a horse whinny at the end of Sleigh Ride (the high school band should hire me next year). I just KNEW all those years practicing being a horse as a small child would come in handy later in life! Too bad I did not do as well on a descant later in that song, which the person who violently volunteered to do decided she didn't like the melody so she wouldn't.

What I have decided is that it is a GOOD thing I am not the leader of any group of volunteer performers. You sure get what you get. Choir members who skip most all the rehearsals then expect to be in the show. Ones who you can practically count on to get sick when they are the only one on a part, or the only member of their section who can actually sing. People who, when told what to wear to a concert, decide that applies to everyone BUT them. I am afraid I'd say something about these things, which of course does not encourage future participation. Glad I am just a grumpy over-achieving member of a small, not-too-talented church choir. And I am glad that for all their flaws, I am very fond of the choir members and their families.

Christmas Eve will be better. Lee has learned his part and I think I can start out "What Child Is This" on the right note. That is all I have to do. We just sing some carols, and the alto part is always d-d-d-d-d-b-d-d-d on those. Note that exciting "b" thrown in there!

I have two hours to get in a better mood, so I will resist the urge to do that by sampling the new Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur I got last night (after a lovely sushi dinner with Lee while the kids were at the Trail of Lights with the Tuba Section). (Tastes like Drambuie, only cheaper!) Heck, I have a lovely new red cowl-neck shirt and dark trouser-leg jeans (because that is what you were supposed to wear at church today), so I will look fine. Go me.

My solstice wish: that you take solace in friends and family during these challenging times and remember that there is beauty everywhere around you. Look for it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gots a Present

Every year the company I work for (temporary agency for high-tech people) gives out a holiday gift. Last year, my job had ended, but Lee was already in this job, so he got the really nice travel bag they gave out (which for some reason is getting all dirty and messed up in the garage, rather than being clean and ready for travel in the bedroom).

This year the lovely, blond, and professionally dressed woman gave me a nice hand-written card and a little zippered case, emblazoned with the company name. Inside were some nifty items: a fairly good quality pen, a tiny notepad, a very tiny mini-USB mouse whose retractable cord really isn't a very sterling retractor (haven't tried it as a mouse yet, since I have a fine standard-issue ALE mouse when I am docked, and when I am not docked, its clone can be found in my standard-issue ALE computer bag (btw, you, too could have one for like $5 or $10 at the Discount Computer store on Anderson Lane near I-35--they have all of ALE's cast-offs, it seems).

But the cutest item is the teeny, tiny digital picture displayer. It supposedly can be a keychain or attach magnetically, but I can't find anything metallic enough here for it to hang on. And after going through the instructions for using it, as well as trying to read the instructions on the digital picture frame I got my parents for displaying wedding photos, I have come to an insight. I think paying more for a frame may not bring you all that much better in a frame, but may give you an easier user interface and instructions. All the over $100 frames seemed to have intuitive touch screens and copious, well illustrated user manuals. This teeny one and the one I got Dad and Flo had either insufficient instructions (practically zilch on the parental one) or confusing ones (I think whoever did the layout on the teeny one was quite the jokester.

But, oh well, I figured it out anyway, and Lee figured out the parts of the parental one that I couldn't fathom. And other than washing all the photos out, the little one displays them quite cutely. Now if anyone asks for wedding, kid, or husband photos--boom! I can show them some!

Is there anything else going on in my fascinating life? Here are some highlights.

  • I am off work all next week as part of ALE's cost-cutting initiative. Some folks get a holiday bonus and a vacation; contractors get no pay. I hope this changes soon! In any case, local buddies, if you are free any day next week other than the 25th and want to hang out, knit, play music, watch TV or eat, let me know, because the kids will be gone, and Lee gets to work three days next week!
  • Beccano's guitar arrived yesterday, and I realized I posted a photo of the slightly lesser quality version of it--he has the "professional" model. And he is IN LOVE with it. He just loves how it plays and how smooth the neck is now that it got a little polishing...ahh. Every adult guitar player who sees it compliments him on making a good decision. And, if you read yesterday's comments, you'll know it goes over well with savvy younger guitarists, too!
  • Holiday gifts are arriving, and thank goodness I remembered where a gift I'd bought Tuba Boy had gotten off to. That is a real problem with buying things very early--I lose them! I am quite pleased with my scaled-down gift giving. It's so hard for me to do.
  • I made butternut squash soup last night. And Lee and Beccano gamely ate it. I will take them to dinner somewhere nice later in the week as a reward.
  • Give me ideas for stuff to blog about next week. I will have time...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Zamenhof Day, and BRR!

Well, I just realized it is Zamenhof Day, the birthday of LL Zamenhof, who invented Esperanto. And as someone who actually studied it for a while, I thought I should salute this fine man, who had a great idea, implemented it, and I hope was proud of himself.

We (my office mate Steve and I) studied Esperanto for a semester, I think, in grad school. We ended up able to have conversations in it and everything. And actually, the first genuine Unitarian Universalist I ever met, Bruce Sherwood (I think, hey, it was a long time ago), was an Esperanto fan, and one of our teachers. He was such an interesting man--wish I had gotten to know him better, but they moved away. I thought his family practice of trading homes with fellow Esperantists or UUs for vacations was such a fun idea, and I really admired him for being a pacifist and firm believer in the unifying properties of a universal language.

But, like my naive ideas on nonviolence, world peace, and kindness to all, Esperanto isn't something most of the world was or is ready for. Oh well, it's still a fun ideal and a worthy concept. Just like world peace.

Today also marks one month until I have a child old enough to vote and sign contracts and stuff. I feel so old. I sure am glad Tuba Boy has gotten more like his old self in the past few months, and is fun to chat with and laugh with again. It is just in time for Beccano to move into the moody phase, sigh.

Oh, but Beccano is still a pretty great kid. He spent his savings on a guitar, finally, and didn't get the expensive dream item, but instead bought an interesting vintage guitar, a Gibson 335-S "Firebrand" guitar. Solid mahogany and a lovely color. It's having a little work done on it, and we should have it on Tuesday or Wednesday. From everything I have read, this will be an instrument to enjoy for a lifetime. He likes its neck and how it feels. I like how he made the more adult choice and got the quality thing, rather than the glitzy alternatives. I look forward to hearing this one (and the acoustic one I got him for Yule--shh don't tell), and soon hearing it on the amp that Becanno has immediately set off to saving his money for. Good kid.

The only other thing going on here is the weather. A cold front blasted through this morning, and for all I know it may snow tonight. It is a biting, damp cold, and darn it, I had to go out in it early this afternoon and am still chilled. (Of course, it was nice of the folks at work to let me go to their holiday celebration as a guest, and I had fun--but it's cold.) The weekend was lovely, though, and Lee got lots of outdoor work done, and we have even more lovely edged flower beds now. Our holiday decor is complete, and we still have a week or more to go!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I was pondering a few things today. One is why do certain songs get stuck in your head and not others? For me, a VERY frequent one is the theme song from The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. It is apparently the catchiest song I know. It pops into my head with great regularity, even though I have not seen the show in over two years, since Lee likes to go to bed much earlier than I used to go to bed. Anyway, always remember, "Tomorrow's just your future yesterday!"

Then in a more somber vein, I was pondering why so many completely able-bodied individuals insist on using the handicapped toilets at work. Sure, if you have hip issues, obesity, or the more usual use of a wheelchair, it makes sense. But the last few people I have seen exiting have been perky, thin and quite spry of foot. And no, they weren't obviously changing out of gym clothing or anything, either. Perhaps they are using mental handicaps as justification? I mean, really, what if someone who truly has trouble getting up and down from a regular toilet came in and had to wait? I would be so embarrassed.

In optimism, my boss once again mentioned to me that they hope to make my job permanent. Even in today's climate! They do have enough work for me. And I do like this job. I just had to type this, because regular readers have been subjected to my work whines for so many years now--I just have to share positive work news as well. I have had a great week of alpha testing a curriculum with my two coworkers, and the people who helped were really great--we are actually going to end up with some training we can be proud of, not just something "good enough."

Tonight brings the kids' winter band concert. Ah, the traditional rendition of "Sleigh Ride." I hope the director doesn't get pissed off again and not read the Cajun Night before Christmas like he did last year. I was so disappointed to miss it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

601! And My Yule Tree

Wow, I just looked at my blog post listing and saw it said 600 posts on this blog! Hard to believe I could come up with that much to say over the past few years! I should have done something for the big event, but I don't think my readers are the kind who'd want to enter some contest or something. So, hey, send a congrats if you feel like it. It would warm my heart, which needs it, due to the fact that it is SNOWING outside. That's right. OK, more like SLEETING. Still, it was over 70 earlier today!

So, I was actually going to write about our lovely Yule, or Christmas, if you wish, tree. It is really different this year. We got a nice big tree thanks to generous Home Depot gift card wedding presents. It's a sort of strange tree, because its leaves have not opened up or anything. I guess it's uptight.

So, we can't find the ornaments, or the tree topper. Just a few of the things have showed up, so I decided to make things. We got bright new multicolored lights, which are a departure from the golden and purple ones I have favored in the past (I always have had slightly odd trees). Anyway, I found a bunch of the purple ball ornaments from last year, and covered them with the squares of cloth and tulle we'd used on our pansy favors from the wedding, tying them up with the left over curling ribbon. They look sort of quaint and rustic. I also (as seen in top picture) covered some shiny gold ornaments with just the red or gold tulle. They look nice, too. I added ribbon left over from the wedding, and Lee and the kids keep saying how nice the lights look shining off it. Not what I'd normally do, but it looks fine.

In this picture you also see an ornament sent to me by an email friend, which she made. It's a little glass container full of shiny beads, with beaded cord around it, and cute li'l shrinky dinks with nice sayings on them. It is really shiny. And sweet. She also sent an ornament made from felted sweaters and some llama roving. Very soft.

This picture shows the ornament we got at Yule Fest on Sunday. It's a Christmas spider, which is based on some German legend about a spider that spins a web that turns gold for Christmas. We thought it was a nice story and a really pretty spider, too. It's not very itsy bitsy. Below that is a fish ornament, which came from the set of bride's ornaments that Parker gave us for our wedding gift. We put the fertility bunny in the back, 'cause we really could do without any babies in the near future. Ho ho ho. All the ornaments are really cute, and each one symbolizes something about married life. I like the lovely rose and the big heart with the wedding rings on it the best. They are the only shiny ornaments I put on, at least so far.

So, here is what the tree looks like.

To me it is a little sparse, but I tend to over-decorate. Lee and the boys seem quite taken by it, so I will leave it like it is this year. Like Lee says, I need to try to make some new traditions for our new family and such. I'll have to. No kids with us this Christmas, so it WILL be different. We have a very happy lit-up redbud tree in the front yard (we are the only people on the street with colored lights, not to mention jumpy blinky ones).

I have a bit of a sad note. You may remember all the things that have been going wrong with my corgi, Gwynneth. She went blind two years ago, and a few months ago began having trouble with her back legs. Tonight she seems a lot worse. I don't know how much longer we'll be able to keep her. If she can't walk, she won't have any quality to her life, and that will make me sad--she is the first dog I've ever had from puppyhood to old age. A number of my friends have lost pets recently. It is never an easy time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Morning Surprise

I was reading email and looking out the window, when I saw something in the tree. As I checked to see what the "cute li'l squirrel" was doing, I realized it did not have a fluffy tail. It was a pretty durned big rat. Not as big as the Florida swamp rats, but big enough, thanks. I hope THAT is not what we sometimes hear in the attic.

On a happier note, we got a Christmas tree yesterday, so it smells good in here. The tree is taking its time to "relax," but we will light it up anyway this afternoon. I will put wedding ribbon on it, I think. I may make something out of our left-over cloth squares from the wedding, too, and of course, we'll put our wedding ornaments on it!

We also got Lee a planer saw thing with our Lowe's gift certs. He really wanted one. We tried to get blinds at Home Depot, but could not get waited on. We will have to try again.

And here's another wedding photo, of me and my sister. Nicer than a photo of a rat, I'd say.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Nice Lull

I am happy to report that there isn't much going on right now. It's a lull. I have Yule gifts for the family all picked out, and that is about all I am doing gift-wise. I am all out of discretionary spending after throwing that big party/wedding last week! So, all my friends got the gift of a potluck then! I may throw in a couple of family surprises, but not too much. You know, the economy and all. I'll make Lee's dad a pair of socks pretty soon, because I know he will want some.

The week has been good and calm, mostly involving saying, "Yes, I AM happy," and looking at wedding pictures. Speaking of which, here is a link to some of the better ones taken by a professional-level friend. This is a good link, because from it you can buy prints, or if you wish, coffee mugs, aprons and such with Lee, me, or one of our attendants emblazoned on them. Sure, you want to do that...anyway, the hilariously Photoshopped photo of us and the cake came from that batch. I was bored, OK?

I have been enjoying watching the Canadian political stuff, and enjoying not having to have an opinion on it, too. Just seems vaguely "bad." And otherwise, I am sending vibes for people with sick family members and pets. Ahh, how nice. I guess this weekend we will get one more good vacuuming out of the borrowed cleaner, then give it back to Tina. Then we'll get a tree and decorate it. Maybe with a LOT of red and gold ribbon, since I have so much left over from the wedding. Gosh, maybe I can make something out of red and gold plates and paper napkins (having so many people who planned to come get sick or have traffic issues, means lots of leftover stuff--still, we can use it all). For some reason, I feel like making things. Stop me before I craft again!!

Have a good weekend, and I will be back to more regular posting as soon as things rev back up to normal speed!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wedding Day! We did it!

Note: more photos here and a slideshow here. See Lee's blog for more links.

At last the wedding day came. It really was a good day, with very few mix-ups or mess-ups. Really, my only disappointment was that illnesses and traffic meant a few people missed the event who wanted to be there. The highlight, for sure, was seeing so many friends, family and coworkers in the circle, beaming their love to us. It really choked me up.

We had a very busy morning of packing up all those flowers, including the ones from the florist (sigh, the wind blew over one arrangement and cracked my vase. Grr.), all the utensils and stuff plus decorations into a variety of cars and trucks. Parker and I headed out to the church in an ominous drizzle. We were a bit worried. But, by the time I got out of the hair salon with my NICE and REASONABLE fancy hair-do, the sky was clearing. Yes, Robert did a great job on my hair. It was very flattering and curly, and looked good with the dress. Whew. And I got to wear the fancy barrette, too. Gregory, the other hairdresser, brought over one of the lovely Indian cloths from his wedding, and it looked beautiful on the altar with the big flower arrangements and our home-made chalice. (It will make a great Yule decoration, too.) When I got back from the hair place, Parker, Sis, Katie and the boys had decorated the church hall beautifully. They did a GREAT job. Katie was quite the trooper, with her pregnant belly not getting in the way of organizational skills too much. She was really cute. Once we were under control with the indoor and outdoor decorations, we went to hide in the dressing room. That all went well, other than Sis burning a hole in a chair with her iron. Her hotel iron. Hmm. Bet we don’t get back our security deposit!

Some of the best times of the whole day were spent getting dressed, enjoying the beautiful outfits everyone was wearing, and taking pictures of all the attendants, officiants and helpers. Parker’s outfit looked great, but was probably still too chilly, even with the warm cape. Each of the attendants very sweetly wore makeup, even the ones who don’t usually do so. Susan’s yellow outfit was cheery and set off her dark hair so well. And she held the peacock feathers like a pro (additional photos are on my Flickr page!). Carolyn got her face done at the mall and was very proud of herself. Her red candle was perfect, as was her pretty red dress. Suzanne’s blue dress suit was very watery, and she didn’t drop her bowl or anything. And Deana’s green ensemble was so nice on her. It was nice to see her holding the quartz crystal my friend Barbara in Arkansas gave me so long ago.

Both Linda and Rev. Kathleen wore rainbow stoles, so they fit in with all the colorful attire! Linda decided to ask Kathleen to help with the ceremony, which was a good idea. It really added a lot. And they looked cool walking down the path together. Anyway, after LOTS of picture taking from ALL the photographers, we finally got to do the ceremony.

Other than the cold (it was probably around 55F), it was perfect. It was incredibly moving, even if I did know what was coming. Jeff’s music was beautiful. He played an original song for us to walk the labyrinth to (we went out this way: ministers, Lee, attendants, then me and the boys). And he sang an original song partway through. Bill my singing partner (Carolyn’s husband) also sang a song that I had chosen near the end, “My Stunning Mystery Companion,” by Jackson Browne, though he “fixed” the lyrics a bit. Both of them sang and played beautifully.

Lee and I managed to say our vows well, and everyone kept telling me how beautiful his were. The highlight was probably Tuba Boy, though. He read a tribute to me and Lee that was both touching and hilarious. It was nice to see everyone laughing. That was what was good about the service, it was very majestic and moving, but also had a family atmosphere and lots of love.

We had hoped Lee’s stepson would make it to be his best man, but he had traffic issues and arrived after the ceremony. I am glad I had a chance to meet him, though. I also got to see my friend Donaldo, whom I have known since 8th grade (we took Spanish together for years in high school, and sang in the extra-curricular choir, plus he was the ORIGINAL tuba player I sat with in high school!). How nice of him to drive up for the wedding! The guests were so varied. Of course there was my family, plus Lee’s niece and nephew were there. The debate team and band were well represented, plus friends from Lee’s various phases of work at Dell. I had knitting friends galore, and lots and lots of dear church friends, too. Just seeing them all together made me incredibly happy.

The reception was over in a flash. I think people were tired from Thanksgiving. Plus Parker got sick, poor hard-working thing. The food looked great, but I missed it other than a bit of cake. And the cake, for all the incredible effort Cake Girl put into it, looked wonderful. The roses Sis had painstakingly wired looked beautiful, and my topper was a great addition. I have a wonderful photo of her and the cake somewhere, but can’t locate it, so here is at least a cake photo.

I am even glad I got to be there for most of the clean-up, because the knitting folks stayed a while, which allowed little Tiegan to help my dad and Beccano put away the chairs. She was so cute, diligently bringing over one chair at a time. I am glad Dad got to meet her. And she was SO excited to be at the wedding, and had the cutest outfit on. All resale, said her mom! She just melted my heart. Well, all the kids did. Lovely Girlfriend made it to the end of the event, and was so helpful, too. Tuba Boy is one lucky child.

Finally, Lee and I were authorized to depart, so we fled (without my pants, LOL, so we had to go home first) to the honeymoon. The Marriott sure had comfy beds. We relaxed, watched football, drank champagne, ate and honeymooned in a most happy and joyful way. It was the best ending to the best day ever. We are one lucky and happy couple!

More later…