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, April 19, 2010

Ya Gotta Wonder

I was just taking a walk around the wooded parking lot at work during lunchtime. I turned the corner, and there I spotted this.
The Monitor in the Woods

I had no idea the oak trees were networked. I did search Facebook, but saw no sign of "Oak Tree by Cool River Restaurant" or any similar listing. I wonder if it was blogging about oak rights? Watching YouTubes of forests in other places?

I guess I am sorta sentimental about oaks right now. I have always really loved them, so it was especially hard to give the OK to have the biggest tree in our yard taken down, the tree that is the reason our house sits slightly crookedly on the lot, the tree we bought the lot for, only to have a huge ice storm take down about half of it the next day. The tree the kids' tree house was in. Sigh. But, it completely blacked out the back yard, so only inland sea oats would grow there. We just can't get grass in once the oaks leaf out. Now we will be able to install a shed, maybe add to the patio and stick on my dream hot tub...and perhaps get some grass to grow, even though there still is a huge hedge of crepe myrtles along the fence, giving plenty of shade and privacy.

But, I will miss the tree. It will be firewood for many years to come, and the rest of it will become mulch and help other plants. We do still have 4-5 other live oaks, two Monterrey oaks and a lovely burr oak. All that on a fairly small lot (the "estate" size--the bigger ones in the neighborhood).

Otherwise, I sort of overdid things on Saturday, with exercise followed by an hour of hard weeding. I think I killed my poor legs! But, it was a fun day all in all, featuring a visit from my friend Carolyn, who picked out yarn for a shawl, and having dinner with Beccano and his girlfriend. They have been dating 8 months and that was our first dinner together. I think we all had a good time.

Things to do beckon, so I'll share any other weird stuff I see in another post!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gonna Be Brave

Things are going real well, though having work means less time to blog! I am feeling really well.

I hate it when "they" are right, but when "they" say that eating right and getting plenty of exercise makes you feel physically and mentally better...well, darn it, they are right. I've not had a soda in a long time, and no longer sweeten my coffee with Splenda, which means my intake of real AND fake sugar has plummeted. And my intake of greens and veggies has soared. Wow, I feel better.

And I have been making it to the community center around 4-5 days a week. Working late or having a lot of meetings makes it hard sometimes, but I am sticking with it, and managed to elliptical for 3 miles last weekend. That's not much for some folks, but a lot for me.

I am now trying to be brave and try new things. Lee tempts me with treats to get me to get on his motorcycle, which he has just outfitted with a snazzy luggage rack (no, really, it IS snazzy). Last weekend I got a really darling jacket and some fine motorcycle boots.
New boots and carpet in my office
That's as good as I can do with a phone and taking the photo myself! These are so incredibly comfortable. When I posted the picture on Facebook two people said they had the same ones! I can see why. I will wear these a lot in the winter as well as when and if I ever get on the bike. You see, we still have not located the style of helmet Lee thinks I should get in my size. I need vents, he says, knowing my propensity towards fainting in the heat. So, I guess tomorrow we will try again to find one. Then I will brave my fears and get on the bike, with helmet, boots, jacket and resolve!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


There's way too much nature to enjoy this time of year. Also, too much pollen, as I mentioned last time. I'll spare you photos, but just imagine a world that has a yellowish-green tint to everything, and you will have Austin during oak pollen season. Wow, this year there's really a bumper crop, too.

There's a bumper crop of cuteness, too. Or maybe, beauty. Yesterday I dropped Beccano off after picking him up from school, trying to get to my knitting group in Georgetown before the traffic hit on the Interstate. A couple of blocks from the house, the phone rang. It was him, saying, "Mom, come back! You have to see this!" So, I turned around and drove back. There he was standing anxiously by the front door, looking down. I came onto the porch and saw it.
Very Large Moth
He knew I wouldn't want to miss this beautiful moth on the porch. What a sweet boy--it's so nice that he still loves nature like he did when he was little and we'd stare at all the bugs and moths on nature hikes. Lee put the moth somewhere safer, though it was probably near the end of its life, anyway. Such a beautiful, delicate creature.

We saw a few other delicate creatures as we walked on the local greenbelt on Sunday. These dudes where hanging out and wishing we'd leave them alone.
Deer Hiding in the Shade
Mostly Lee and I just enjoyed even more wildflowers. This year they are spectacular. We have seen so many of our friends' children (and dogs) patiently posing amid the bluebonnets this year. We figured we didn't have any little kids any more, so we took pictures of each other!
Lee Bonnet
Suna Bonnet
We had a lot of fun looking at teeny little flowers that didn't photograph all that well--the karst formations in my neighborhood are host to many very delicate, tiny things, including some succulents that bloom pink--I hope to share those soon. However, there are some larger displays, like this honeysuckle gone wild along the path.
Unfortunately, this isn't the kind that smells wonderful (I did see some of that yellow kind way off the path), but it is pretty. Mine in the back yard has almost all died, so I am glad there is some elsewhere for all the hummingbirds! Hey, check out my new natural hair. Nice gray stripe, huh!

I hope someone is still here reading--I had lots of blog readers for a couple of weeks, but I stopped being controversial and they all hid again. I guess it's OK--I mostly write so I can have a fun record of what goes on in my life. And finally, it is a GOOD period. We've managed to pay the taxes, pay off the bills, start saving, and can relax. At least for a bit. I have been waiting for this day since 2002. About time.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Green-Tinged Season

I believe I have mentioned how much I like spring in this area. For a few months, there is something new and lovely blooming every day, as another thing fades. Of course, everyone's cars are sort of greenish, because the oak pollen is pretty darned intense, which is why I call it the "green-tinged season."

Right now, the redbuds are fading, after an incredibly spectacular showing, and the bluebonnets are in full force. It is traditional in this area to take photographs of babies, children, pets, etc. among bluebonnets. Here we have a depiction of our home "wildflower meadow" (which is the tiny patch of turf between the sidewalk and the cul-de-sac) and Lee's "baby" the motorcycle, which, unfortunately, ran out of battery and has been stuck there for a couple of days.
Flowers and Bike
Can you spot the bluebonnets? We have THREE plants in there, but you can only see two. The phlox have decided to establish themselves, and a bunch of those other green things are going to be something nice. I am not sure what. Last year annuals bloomed while the perennials established themselves. Mostly we have weeds, which I am patiently trying to eliminate so wildflowers can live. My main fear is that the absent neighbors will have their lawn crew come when no one is home and will mow the flowers. I scared some tree trimmers this morning by running out and asking them not to mow them. Oh well, they will work on our trees.

This time of year, before mosquitoes (unless you are my friend Ted, who said he got bit last night), we can really enjoy the yard. Our flower beds are coming back, even some stuff we thought had died. And look at all the wild anemones in the front bed!
Front bed with wild and not-so-wild flowers
Too pretty to pull up just yet. The pansies will not last too much longer, but I will enjoy them as long as I can. It's so nice to sit outside and see neighbors and look at things. It's also beautiful driving around. I really should have posted more photos from last week, when we went to see Lee's dad. Here's one more Lee took, of an Indian paintbrush.

Wait, one more. With a butterfly.

Oh wait, here is blue eyed grass.

Oh wait, here is a pink evening primrose. OK I will stop. I guess I liked all the flowers we saw, huh.

Now I gots to go shower after a hard workout--yes, I have lasted almost two weeks going to the gym! The elliptical trainer no longer kills me! And we have a fun party to go to, so I want to smell reasonably good and all that! Enjoy whatever holiday you are celebrating!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Year Blogaversary Guest Post: Surprise

Today I have been blogging for 5 years. Yes, my first post was April 1, 2005. I just looked it up. Since I have been working this week (yay) and had a lot going on during the evenings, I haven't had time to post things that bring me joy for a few days.

Instead, I'd like to share some words written by my long-time friend, Liz T-G. You will find them on her very nice blog, but I am reprinting them here (with permission). She really summed up a lot of the kind of thinking I have been doing about recent faux pas, "learning experiences," and general screw ups I have been dealing with. And at the end, she sums up why I think I am going to be OK after all. So, read these smart words from Liz as I go to women's group and feel grateful for having recorded my ups and downs the past 5 years:

In real life, you can't take things back. In our minds and hearts and memories, we edit freely, changing history as we meant it to be, have learned it ought to have been, or wished it were. Nothing changes what we have done, or what we have left undone.

Life changes, though. People change, thoughts evolve. If we're lucky, understanding grows and deepens. The lens through which we--and others--view our actions or inactions is constantly shifting, growing more acute, or less interested or seeing with a different perspective than it did a few short years before.

Still what's done is done. Scurry as we might, we can't control what happens next and next and next. This helplessness gets scary, at times. Oh, ok. All of the time. I'd really like to come up with some pithy aphorism right here, demonstrating that I know where to place all of these f*&^%$ growth experiences, how to manage them, how to live through them.

Surprise. Not so much. My goal is continued breathing, intentionally with loving kindness toward all. Most moments, just breathing is a worthy accomplishment.