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, June 28, 2009

Some Wellness, Some Sickness

The good news here is that the medicine is really helping Scrunchy, and his skin is no longer bright pink. His horrible sores are healing and his licking is down to a normal dog level. I got both him and Rose new "clothing"--both made of hemp or something like that. Scrunchy has a dark green halter and Rose has a purple collar. They seem very sturdy but have incredibly soft linings, so even Rose isn't horribly bothered by hers. She still has it on after two days! For her that is a record.

I put Advantix flea stuff on all the dogs, and Rose and Buddy both seem to feel better. I also sprayed some stuff where they sleep and will have the pest control people spray the lawn. Maybe that will keep me from having to take the other two dogs in for killer drugs like Scrunchy is on.

The bad news is that Lee's dad relapsed and is back in the hospital again. They decided he wasn't completely rehydrated when he went home before, so is in there longer. It was scary because he got put in by his doctor and didn't tell anyone, so the family rushed to find him to see if he'd died at home, but luckily a relative found him at a hospital by calling all in the area until she found him. Gee whiz. He could have asked to have a relative notified.

But Lee stayed home this weekend to try to get work done in the yard, even though it has been 103-105 degrees all week (in Celsius that is "too hot for humans to survive"). I've had a bit of trouble with the heat so am staying inside. We did have a nice dinner with church friends last night, though again it was the "gluten free" bunch, so the food was interesting. All edible though, and they did eat my salad! It's interesting how many more people have a variety of food issues these days!

I guess I'll leave you at that, and see who else my age has died in the last few hours. Someone said that Facebook is becoming Deathbook, with all the "RIP" posts. I'm not surprised when sick people or people who live marginal and dangerous lifestyles die, but poor ole Billy Mays was just a nice guy who can sell stuff--he seemed pretty healthy...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Sick Dog

We had to take Scrunchy in to the vet's today. His itching has gotten out of control. Usually he is itchy for a week or two and it ends, but this time he has it a lot worse. His skin is all pink and he has messed up a bunch of areas, including his rear and a horrid spot on the side of his neck. Of course, that is infected. I will spare you a photo of it. I have few enough readers as it is!

So, Tuba Boy and I took him in and the vet said it is probably allergies, but she also found a little flea dirt on him, so we had to get the flea stuff, too. We have never really had a flea issue here, but there's always a first time. I got flea stuff for Rose as well, but since Buddy has never been to that vet, could not get him any.

Scrunchy now has to take a complicated schedule of steroids plus a long course of antibiotics, all of which we have to magically get him to ingest without making him fatter. The dang pug is 40 pounds. I will have to beg Lee to feed him less, again. I swear we feed him less than the other dogs. A lot less. So, when we take him back to get his vaccinations and such, I will see if he has a thyroid issue. Yes, we couldn't get the vaccinations because of the steroids. Whee.

We need to get Rose in, too. The county we live in fines you $500 if your dog is found loose without a $5 permit. I got one for Scrunchy. Of course, since she won't wear a collar, I do not know what we will put it on.

The vet also said Scrunchy's corneas are hardening, but this is a normal thing as dogs age, not what Gwynnie had. I realize now that he is the age she was when she started to go downhill. Sigh.

Pets. You can't live with them and you can't live without them.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hair Fun?

Today we had the excitement of getting up early and having our hair cut (mine colored, hardly cut at all).

Beccano is growing his hair (duh). Last year I cut his bangs, and he was not pleased, thus refusing to let it be touched until after school was out this year. His goal was to get rid of the two-tiered effect on the current look. This is about 6" being cut off, though it looks like less due to all the curling. You can see that it also looked pretty frizzy.
Here is an action shot of Robert at the JC Penney salon in action. Look how long his hair was when wet! It was down to the middle of his back! We knew that it would need to be 4 inches past his shoulders in order to be shoulder-length when dry, so it was cut to those specifications.

Here it is once it was dried. I was going to add a picture of the front, but Blogger is acting funky and when I cut the photo, it would not paste. I also lost some text because Ctrl-V is not working. Grumble. But doesn't the lovely red hair look better now? Less frizz and more organized. Still long enough for excellent rocking and rolling.

And this is me, showing all my chins, but also the attempt at getting my hair back to its natural color. However, this is some kind of goth looking black hair. It is my firm belief and hope that after a couple of washes it will fade to pretty much my original darkish brown and stay that way. I just got tired of how red hair dye turns that nasty color when it gets old, no matter how careful you are to wash with the right stuff, etc. I'm not sure why, but he hardly cut any off. I guess the hair dresser likes long hair. It's fine this way I guess!

Not much else is going on. I have spent some nice time with friends and knitted a lot while waiting for next week's intense work projects. Lee's dad is recuperating fine, and we are now hoping he won't have to leave the farm after all. Tuba Boy is still off in Alabama, but has received his roommate information and first-year seminar info for college. That is exciting to both him and Future Roommate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Ah, it's a rare calm period right now. No school issues, no work issues (I have nothing this week, but they TOLD me about it, and I know I have stuff coming up...I can relax), a respite from Lee's dad's issues...I am soaking up the calm. The worst problem is that Scrunchy the Pug is really itchy and scratching himself up. Lee has tried Benadryl in small doses. We will see how that goes.

Of course, that does not make for fascinating blogging. I know it's fascinating that Deana came over yesterday and I helped her upload photos to Ravelry. And that she brought cookies, which are all gone now! Or perhaps you will be intrigued that Beccano and I went BOTH to the bank AND the grocery store yesterday and survived the oppressive 100+ degree heat. Well, that did result in a delicious meal including fresh vegetables as well as the most sweet and perfect strawberries I've had in ages (plus, I am dehydrating the rest of the berries and some bananas).

It's rather quiet without Tuba Boy, who seems to be having an OK time in Alabama, observing a debate tournament. I hope his friend does well!

I have a very clean house right now. We got the vacuum cleaner fixed, so I am keeping up with the dog hair, and being home more means I can keep the kitchen clean and keep down the clutter in other rooms. I always feel more calm when my house is clean enough that I don't feel embarrassed to have people over! I haven't felt OK about the house since that brief moment before the wedding when it looked good. We just have to get rid of an entertainment center and TV in the dining room and I will be A-OK. We just can't give the stuff away, so I guess it's Craigslist time.

All this gives me time to send a lot of empathy and sympathy to the people in Iran. I worry about them a lot. Every Iranian I have ever met has been a reasonable, nice and moderate person (OK a few were rather liberal, I must say). They've been the kind of Muslims that truly exemplify the peaceful aspects of the religion. I realize that the people in charge will still not be pro-US, no matter what happens, but I know a bit more of a moderate government would make things easier for women and moderates there. So, I am thinking of them all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Worried and Hail Pix

Lee got a call this morning from his niece that said his dad was not doing well. Can't get out of bed and is shaking. So Lee ran off to the farm as soon as he could put together some stuff. I hope it is something easy to deal with--we can't miss work, being contractors. It is so hard being far from your elderly parents. Especially stubborn ones who won't TELL you when they need you.

It will be a lonely time here. Yesterday, Tuba Boy set off on his graduation gift trip to Alabama with his debate friends. So, today it's me and Beccano. He will play me some music to entertain me as I continue to mess up my knitting, I guess.

Think of Lee and his dad, please.

I also thought I'd share a few photos from the hail storm from Thursday. The top one is one of the bigger hail stones and this one shows how it really knocked all the leaves off the porch plants and decor items. Hail blew sideways--also there are a lot of dents in the garage doors. Sigh.

Update: Lee's dad made it to the hospital in Cuero and is getting fluids. They are checking to see if there are abdominal issues. I am glad the stubborn fellow let Lee take him in!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello from Work, Which Is Home

And that's part of the problem--when you work from home, you get all of the stuff that goes with being home. Sometimes that's good. You can get food, take a break and clean something, watch TV, etc.

But for the past couple of weeks my work has involved recording audio for e-learning courses. To record sounds, you need to not have other sounds competing. I am very lucky that I am using my new computer, which has a stereo microphone that is very focused at only what is coming directly at it. A lot of sounds don't come through.

But, some challenges from the past couple of days have included:

  • The garbage truck, not only when it is on our street but when it is on the next street. And don't forget the separate recycling truck. Each sets off the dogs for many blocks.
  • The "lovely" people behind us and their screeching children in their pool. There is no way to go swimming without screeching, it appears.
  • Our avian friends. Mostly it is mockingbirds, which I love, but are very loud in a tree like 6 feet from your window. I have also "enjoyed" mourning doves, blue jays and warblers. The wrens don't register, thankfully. I hear a dove right now.
  • Freakin' dogs. Actually, mine are a lot better now that Gwynnie is gone, and mostly just bark if people arrive or (gasp) Tuba Boy walks down the hall. Buddy has to alert me to that. Right now they are outside and setting off neighbor dogs for unknown reasons.
  • The house cleaners. Yes, I am very lucky to have house cleaners--that's one reason we need two incomes. I've been vacuuming like a fiend anyway, but it's worth it to have the bathrooms clean. Only, well, between them running the showers and vacuuming, recording is a challenge. And I had to take my entire set-up to the guest room so they could clean my room.
  • Why am I working in my bedroom. That's right--as I mentioned before, Skylight thinks me reading aloud is an invitation to converse in Parakeeteese.
  • Sounds the computer makes. I have turned off my email from coming in automatically and making that precious mail noise, but my anti-virus software decided to ding at me during a particularly long stretch of reading earlier today. Sigh.
What's the good news? I think I'll have worked every day this week, the first time since I started the new job. This means that I will be able to pay college and even get the Visa back down to zero again soon. If it will just keep up a while, gasp...I may be able to SAVE money. I don't want to jinx myself of course, but I am really glad things have turned around for a while.

I'll write about other stuff soon. I just had to do something while all the vacuuming and shower running were going on. Ahh, the mockingbird has started up again...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Catch-up 4: Graduation

Yay, this should be the final "catch-up" post for today! I am sure the one of you who reads this is having a great day of staring at photos and seeing my descriptions. I am not at my creative peak!

But, the front door says it all. I guess I have reached the initial "goal" of parenthood: I have a child who graduated successfully from high school. I guess Tuba Boy has put down the tuba and is ready to pick fancy laptop he got from his dad, I guess! I am very proud of his high school achievements, mostly gained without all that much effort, so I am hoping he kicks it up a notch in the fall. Right now, though, he gets to enjoy himself a bit.

The day started with me doing a bunch of work starting at 6 am, so I'd be sure to get all I needed to do done. Then the kids' dad came to pick me and Beccano up to go to the ceremony, which was in downtown, where we saw Bruce Springsteen. Lee had a bunch of work to do, since graduation was at noon on a Wednesday, and could not afford to lose the hours. So I took a lot of pictures. I was glad that the ex gave us a ride, since there was no real easy parking. We got a spot just fine, though. I'm glad I put on a skirt and top and made Beccano wear a shirt that buttoned, since the ex wore his suit. I think it is nice to treat graduation seriously, though. A lot of people's families did not.

Anyhow, the above is the empty auditorium. Space for LOTS of graduates: over 600.

I'll spare you photos of lines of matching teens marching in, or the cool thing the ROTC did by making living stairs for the flag bearer to climb. Here we have Snow, the saludatorian, delivering his speech. It was a really enjoyable one, very human. Turns out it was his original speech that he was supposed to change around and make more perky. While I felt badly for the nice debate coach who rewrote the speeches for the principal, I do think the kids' originals were fine. I am happy they stuck with their guns. Neither speech was lewd or crude. I mean, for heaven's sake, these were stereotypical brilliant Asian-American kids--they weren't going to incite a riot!
There is only one highlight to graduation that matters to each family, and that is seeing their kid shaking hands and getting the diploma. Here Tuba Boy is doing just that. (Photos I took sometimes were blurred because I used the "night" setting and had to try to hold still.) I can tell that's him, though, shaking hands with Dr. Chavez the superintendent. That guy had to be dead tired after shaking 3000 hands on Wednesday!
Afterwards, we tried to get photos of Tuba Boy in his regalia, but by the time we found him, he was already trying to strip it off. But, we did snag this lovely image of him and Brilliant Girlfriend (look at all the stuff she had to wear on top of her gown--cords, tassels, mantels, awards!). Tuba Boy had a medal for getting an A average and for completing some rigorous set of standards. Go him.
And just one final shot to show that Tuba Boy's parents are very proud of him. His mother wishes she didn't look quite so...rotund. And this is after losing at least ten pounds! Oh well, just look at those lovely kids, with wonderful futures ahead of them.

We had a very late lunch at Chuy's restaurant near our house after the ceremony and a lot of traffic. I know the kids enjoyed a chance to dine with their parents, and the parents survived quite nicely. I guess we are all happy where we are in life and can now enjoy our family, in whatever configuration. Maturity. It shows up eventually, I guess!

That night we enjoyed a really fun party at Future Roommate's house. I had a great time talking to all the kids, and so did Beccano, who got to talk music with some of the "good" older musicians. The seniors tossed water balloons and had all kinds of fun. I'm glad I got to go to a party. And Lee at least got to show up there and give greetings (the kids' dad went home after we ate).

Tuba Boy has been partying ever since, and just driving around and having fun, visiting the school, being with friends. He is really looking forward to his gift from us, which is a trip to Alabama to see his friend Morgan compete at the national debate tournament. If I have already blathered on about this, forgive me. I can't remember what I typed...

Catch-up 3: Senior Bridging Ceremony

One of the neat traditions of our church is the senior bridging ceremony, which acknowledges that high school seniors and home schooled students who are heading to college are now adults in the eyes of the community.
Here are most of our seniors (one was late and I have no idea what happened with another one, plus a third is still at her boarding school, where she turned her life around for the better). They all appear to be looking with some apprehension toward the future!
Tuba Boy is receiving his box in this picture, as Rev. Kathleen (remember her from the wedding?) beams on. What is the box? Every year, Patty, who is handing over the box, makes a lovely little "instant Unitarian Universalist service" box for each senior. In it are various things that will allow a student to set up a little UU altar in his or her dorm, apartment or room! It has a tiny chalice and candle (UUs, for some reason, put flaming things in chalices rather than water--more info at There was also some incense, which has already been burned, and some symbols of the four directions, and a nice booklet of UU sayings. It is a very sweet tradition.
Apparently, some very good joke was told after Tuba Boy got his box, which made the adults (all UU "elders" who have been in the deonomination at least 25 years) laugh their heads off. The girl at right says the look on her face scared her own self!

I was so glad that I convinced my son to go to the ceremony. I think it meant a lot to him, and I know the congregation loved seeing the kids.

Catch-up 2: Birthday Fun

We did celebrate Beccano's birthday, the day after the real occasion. We went to our favorite local Chinese restaurant, and got our favorite waitress, so all was well with that.

Beccano got to open a few presents, knowing that his big gift was that purple amp (a very popular household item at the moment). His gift from Tuba Boy hadn't arrived yet, but it did get here yesterday. It's an incredibly lifelike Kurt Cobain action figure, complete with strings on the guitar, a music stand and a microphone.

His other gift, which he bought with his birthday money, was a music playing device that looks like an old radio but has a turntable, CD player and radio in an Ipod doc. He is so happy to be playing Lee's and my old albums.

When our meal was over, the waitress brought him a slide of German Chocolate Cake. We all enjoyed it. We'd had so much fun with the waitress that Beccano decided to draw her a picture and write a message in the chocolate syrup. That is one artistic boy. I know he is so talented.

Sigh, I am now off to a conference with his school counselor to find out about taking summer school, because he managed to fail Geometry. He simply does not seem to realize he has not done his work. I have no idea how to fix this, but perhaps summer school will encourage him to not do that any more. I dread hearing the little lecture on "he should do his work" and "you should check the Home Access Center daily to see if he is missing something." Oh well, I'll live.

More updates to come later.

Catch-up 1: Band Banquet

I got behind on all my blogging, so I am going to post separate posts about some of the recent events. One fun thing (sort of) that we did was attend the band banquet held for the kids' band. It was much bigger than it had been in the past, which led to some issues--the food lines were so long that a lot of people just decided to not eat.

But Tuba Boy and Brilliant Girlfriend both looked lovely for the occasion. Such young adults! Another of their debate friends came (Future Roommate), so she had someone to talk to during the endless awards and such. We also had at our table two moms--Future Roommate's mom (and my future college parenting buddy) and the mother of one of Beccano's friends, because he didn't want her sitting with him. The rest of our table was the older members of the tuba section. A lot of very tall, funny young men.
Here is an example of how nicely the band kids cleaned up--two of my bus buddies looking very distinguished! The one on the left is the one whose mom I sat with. I am so proud of these kids--they really brighten my day, and it was fun to hear what "awards" they got nominated for.

Here are two other denizens of the sophomore buddies' table. Beccano was fairly gracious about the fact that he had to do the banquet on his birthday. He even smiled as they sang happy birthday to him (this really impressed his friends, who didn't know that Tuba Boy and I had arranged it). I love this photo, because it looks like the two friends are mirror images of each other. R. had just cut all his hair off, and Beccano has not. And their shirts and ties are opposite. They looked so cute together.
I wore my extremely orange dress. I look like I am wearing wallpaper. But, even though my closet is 50% lighter right now, I kept it. I need a couple of dresses! I am with Lisa, who as always looks really, really nice. Her older son who is Tuba Boy's age went to another high school (arts magnet), but her younger one is at our school, so we got to hang out!
The banquet went on and on and on and on, and the food was really watery Mexican-ish stuff. But, it was so nice to see this happy group of seniors get their due. It was worth it. We had some very good musicians, but also some very hard workers. I know their band experience will benefit them in the future, even if they don't do more music.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quick Update

I have a whole bunch of stuff to blog about, but got into a cleaning frenzy so I ran out of time. My closet has had at least half of its contents removed. I feel like I didn't waste all my unemployed days. Boy have I been stressed about the lack of work, though.

The good news is that work called and I have something to do the rest of the week that is fun, fun, fun. I am recording voiceovers on online instructional stuff. Whee. I get to use fun software, and listen to the sound of my own voice. Which is fun. Funny: I tried to do it in the media room where I usually work, but every time I started to talk, the bird started to sing. When I stopped, she stopped. I think she thought I was talking to her.

So far a bunch of kids have visited (last day of school), the dogs barked, etc., but I am plowing through these big ole words I don't understand, like I know what I am doing!

More soon--lots of parties, events, and tomorrow: Tuba Boy graduates!