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!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Still Here

I am still here. I think I am just feeling down, off, or something. But I have been busy and doing a lot of stuff--had a bunch of meetings last week and even enjoyed some of them. I am working on setting up a tarot group that will be a good replacement for some of the community I've been missing lately, at least I hope.

I took this rainbow photo before choir last Wednesday. It shows that it has been raining, at least a bit, here. That's been a relief.

Things are OK for Lee and the kids, though I am not looking forward to Lee's upcoming business trip. Glad for the job, though. It enabled me to order new glasses, which means I will see a lot better starting tomorrow or Wednesday.

Wish me luck--I have an in-person interview for an instructional design job I did a phone screening for last week. I really like my current job, but sure would like a permanent position, too! We will see how I do.

I will TRY to write more soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh, Do Check This Out!

I forgot to include this in my last post. I may have mentioned my friend Steve Brooks, a local Austin musician and punster (and fellow Unitarian Universalist hippie liberal), here before. He writes some pretty funny satirical songs and poems, and he has a good one that is appropriate for today--about Tom Delay's debut on Dancing with the Stars. I have never seen that show, just heard the yarn shop people talking about it. But, I enjoyed his song. Hope you will, too!


That means we went on a vacation.

You aren't hearing much from me because I am still a grumpy old woman (though nothing is horrible, just normal issues and some health challenges). But how can you be grumpy when a cute dog like Bella comes to visit the office? She belongs to coworker Ted, who just dropped by for a few minutes today to fill out some forms. This is a very interesting shepherd/greyhound mix dog (look at the size of those ears!), who was shy but is getting lots better. I hear about her a lot, so it was great to meet her.

Good news is that Lee, Beccano and I had a mini-vacation over the weekend. We went on the trip to Port Aransas/Mustang Island that has been sponsored by our church every year for a long time. We hadn't been able to go since high school started, due to football games, but this year McNeil had an off week on the right weekend. We decided to take the leap and go. I am glad we did.

We took zillions of photos, all of which are still on the camera--Lee has uploaded them but not me. So, here are the few I took with my phone, which are of people gathered at a potluck. Hello, church people.

It was nice to be around a compatible bunch of folks. It reminds me of what I have liked about the church, even with all the turmoil and issues. It's changing to a different type of church now, but these folks are still the old-school slightly weird people who are there more for community than for how polished the Sunday services are. I do hope the people who are there for a professionally smooth, generic service enjoy that...but I am working on figuring out how to get more community and less generic-ness without having to lose the community. It is nice to know I am not the only one with this issue.

Mostly the guys and I hung around with each other and watched lots of birds feeding (really close to the shore--a great view) and looked at what was in the water. I have never seen the Texas water as clear as it was this weekend. It was as clear as the Caribbean. We saw glowing jellyfish at night, which was also neat--they were little bitty ones that did not sting (though something stung me on the foot, or cut it--I have a moist healing band-aid fixing that right now).

We went to one of those sort of run-down family restaurants for some fish for lunch on Saturday, and it was delicious. Beccano gave the waitress and cook a bit laugh by answering the question, "How do you want your fish cooked?" with "Medium well." We laughed at that one for a couple of hours, and he was good natured about it. He got it grilled!

The birds and scenery were so nice. But the mosquitoes were really scary. I keep forgetting about them. But, not now. I am covered in red marks.

Sunday we beached a bit then went to visit Lee's dad for a while on the way home. Getting there was made stressful by a line for the ferry. Sometimes I wish I could fix things beyond my control, but I tend to just accept them. That doesn't work for everyone, though...and it did not help that I was not feeling well. But, once we got to Lee's dad's house, it wasn't too bad. Even Beccano had a good time driving around the little Mule vehicle that was hanging around. Good driving practice! I got to start the new tractor. That was good for me. I felt very tall and bouncy on the air seat.

The vacation was good. I even got relaxed by the end.

Work is fine, honest. I am enjoying what I am doing and getting to do a lot of new stuff. I think I still get to stay. And tomorrow I get to go to the eye doctor. With insurance. Wow, what a concept.

I am just trying not to worry about how I will do with Lee gone for three weeks soon. It isn't that I can't cope when I am alone. It's just that too many times when someone has gone away, they have come back and left for good after that. But, not all patterns HAVE to be repeated, right?

See why I am not blogging much? My mind is in a strange place. I miss Tuba Boy. I worry about Beccano and school. I get tired of people and politics. I dislike having to sacrifice time with people I like to avoid people who I can't handle right now. Mooshy old Suna. I feel sorta like Beccano looks. Wary and gun-shy. But not sure why.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Woo Doggies

It's been another emotionally rough week for me. I am still really unhappy with how people have been treating each other. I am watching less television news and blocking some people's Facebook feeds. That helps. And I had a great conversation with some coworkers at lunch one day that made me feel a lot better about how world events are going and what we can do about it. For the most part, I work with incredibly bright people who can share ideas without shutting down the conversation. I have learned a lot from them, and mostly am relieved that these incredibly bright people mostly see things the way I do.

Other worried involve losing communities I care about. My grumpiness has led me to avoid large group gatherings, so I haven't hung around the knitting shop lately. And the need for money has been leading my church community toward a much less unique format that focuses on growth and recruiting new members and less on the things that made it a unique oasis for people for whom a traditional church format didn't work. I am trying to find ways to handle it productively. I joined a new women's group (where I feel very young!) and am taking the classes required to start a "chalice group" (small group ministry). I hope to start a group that focuses on tarot and spirituality, so I will be able to grow close to a small group with similar interests. I hope this is a productive way of handling my issues, rather than whining or talking to the wrong people who will say useful stuff like, "oh, you are just not good with change," or "it's just an experiment." Hmm. I heard THAT at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization, a lot. They're still firmly enmeshed in their craziness.

In good news, we decided to go to Padre Island next weekend with a small group from our church. I used to love to go to those weekends in the Olden Days. There are just 10 groups going, so it should be nice and intimate. I am so glad there is no football next weekend so we could do it! The months after that will be band and more band! This will be Lee's and my first "vacation" with at least one of my kids. And our first outing of more than one day, if we can get dog care!

The other thing I am sorta worrying about is that Lee is going to be teaching in Arizona for most of next month. I am glad he got the new job, but won't enjoy that much time apart. I guess I thought these things were a week at a time, at most. I am sure I can handle it--at least Beccano will be here. Guess I will knit a lot.

Well, I actually had a lot of things to write about, but the wonderful rain we have been having the past few days (yes, we sure needed it!) has really done a number on my poor sinuses. Take care, my 3 readers, and if you want to send me encouragement, you know where to find me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day. Hmph. Building Dedication. Yay.

It is Labor Day in the US. This holiday honors workers. Well, some of them. It honors workers with traditional jobs that have paid holidays, benefits, and such. These lucky folks get a paid day off work every September to rest, shop and hang out with their families.

However, in the US, more and more companies are outsourcing the kind of work I do. That is how Lee lost the job he had when we met. Those of us doing instructional design, tech writing or editing who were laid off from that particular company (and there were more just a week or two ago) are now wandering around Austin looking for work. Most of us need to settle for contract work. ALE only lets you work 9 months at a time, then you must take three months off. Other places have shorter or longer terms. But you never get to relax a bit and concentrate on a job--you are either just learning one or winding down and frantically looking for another one.

And what do contractors do on Labor Day? We sit at home and lose money. No pay for us. I am not sure how Labor Day is honoring us. And gosh, I hope none of us get sick or hurt on Labor Day, since we have no insurance. And it feels so good knowing most of our country's citizens do not give a hoot if we have any or not. If we wanted insurance, we should just go out and get a REAL job. Um, do you have one for me?

I sound bitter. I am trying not to be bitter. It's hard seeing how people in the US are dividing themselves into factions and picking on each other. Respect has been replaced by fear. Fear of each other and our elected officials. Wow, I did not approve of practically anything our previous administration did, but I did not attack his fans, make up reasons to hate anything he did, or prevent my children from listening to him.

Let's talk about something else.

Look, here are some nice photos. This is Rebecca, our choir director at church, hoping she can avoid talking (she didn't) at a really nice ceremony we had that dedicated the music building (an old school portable building) at our church to our beloved founding member, Bill Sauber. He left us a good amount of money for our music programs when he passed away, so we decided to honor him by dedicating the building to him.

Joe, our music committee chair, read Bill's obituary (from 2005), and then 4 or 5 of us shared some memories.
Here I am with the sign we had made and a couple of pictures of Bill. He was a great musician and very intelligent man. I learned a lot from singing with him. He also was an original member of our church, back when it was a lot of fun and very family oriented. Sorry the photo is blurry--no one believes me when I tell them they have to hold the phone still when taking photos with it!

Ricky, the choir director's husband and official church carpenter, hung the sign. What you don't see are all the "helpers" telling him exactly where to hang it. That was pretty funny. Thanks to Sam for taking the picture when my camera filled up.

Lots of good stuff has happened this weekend, tempering my bitterness. Tuba Boy came home for dinner both Saturday and Sunday nights, and I really enjoyed getting to hear how he is doing, what fun he's having, and what he's learning. I really cracked up when he told me in great detail about how he and his dorm companions built a fort in the common area. What a hoot. They are all crawling in there and watching movies on their laptops. Lots of kid left in those young adults!

And as I mentioned on my knitting blog, I taught a bunch of people at a MENSA conference yesterday. Everyone was darned nice and they had some interesting sessions, like clock making. They also had a margarita machine, so they seemed like a fun bunch. I am glad a nice family from church invited me to do this!

Oh, and it rained twice this weekend. Unfortunately one of those welcome rain events (we are in the worst drought in like a hundred years) came during this Friday's football game. Lots of lightning kept the players and band in shelter (buses for us) for about 1.5 hours, but eventually they let us out and had the game. As you can see, it did rain. Don't we look festive in our yellow?

Not only were we wet, but the game was awful. Whew, our team was bad. That always makes sitting on hard aluminum even less fun! On the other hand, it has also been the hottest summer ever here, and the rain kept the temperatures down. So, it could be worse!

More updates next week!