04 April 2014

Not Really an Issue but Kind of…


It’s about the bed but related to sleeping, not, you know, recreational activity, ahem, as it were…

My partner and I both want the same side of the bed.  If you are in it, it’s the right hand side.  We both have our reasons and we both think that our reasons outweigh her reasons.  So far I am winning.

When T first moved in I let her have the right side.  She wanted it and I was in a tolerant mood.  Soon after, however, I said that I needed to switch sides with her.  I said that the other side was too claustrophobia-inducing for me.  It’s the side next to the wall; the bed is a couple feet away from the wall, but still.  I have a deeply ingrained need to be able to bolt.  Domestic violence scars will do that to a person.  I get a little panicky when I feel trapped.

Her reasons are less potent – to me, at least.  She has always slept on that side; her shoulder hurts if she lies on the other side; she is not as comfortable or as able to ‘get busy’ on that side; and her latest, she can’t sleep through the night when she is on the other side of the bed.

In response to her latest I said that she would just have to get used to not sleeping through the night.  I mean, that’s part of aging, right?!  In middle age our sleep patterns change.  She can’t sleep through the night because she is a menopausal, middle-aged woman!  Not my fault!

We were at a stalemate for a while, she refusing to budge and me being bitter and resentful.  Then, she adopted the scared little dog.  HA!

Tanner has special needs.  One of his needs is that he needs to sleep somewhere that he feels secure.  T built him a special bed and put it on the right side our bed.  That just didn’t work.  He didn’t feel secure, it’s right by the door and there is too much coming and going.  He would run to the far side of the bed and hide but then when I would walk over there to get in bed, he would bark and growl at me and generally freak out.
So, I told her that for the dog’s peace of mind we would have to switch sides.  She agreed; reluctantly, grudgingly and gracelessly, but she agreed.  She moved to the wall side of the bed. 

Now that Tanner has relaxed somewhat she wants to switch back to the other side.  I am holding firm on my refusal to move.  She then asked if we could rearrange the furniture so that the left side of the bed was near the door and the right side would be next to the closet.  It’s not an ideal arrangement by any stretch, and I’m not even sure that it would work.  The door would open right onto the bed that way.  Plus, another of my quirks is that I feel much healthier when my bed is facing south.  It took me many years to figure this out, but it makes a big difference for me, especially in this cloudy climate.  I feel a little too idiosyncratic with this additional requirement, but I’m just being me. 


So far, I’m still on the right side.  Thanks, Tanner.  Good boy!

20 March 2014

Daffodils



It’s Spring here in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s chilly and damp with rain and even a little hail today, but it’s Spring.

In the last couple of weeks I have seen: snowdrops, crocus, camellias, violets.  Forsythia, star magnolia, azaleas, hellebores.  This week the cherry trees and ornamental plums have burst into bloom.  And, yes, daffodils.  Pussy willows are fuzzy and the catkins are hanging on the alders.  New green foliage is unfolding. 

Last Friday I stepped outside in the early morning and the air was rich with the scent of the sea.  A sure sign that warmer (and wetter, for us) days are nigh. 

I haven’t posted about it because I didn’t want to rub it in.  I know that you all have been suffering through this interminable winter.  But, I saw Washington, DC on the tv last night and there were cherry trees in bloom.  And I thought, yes.  Spring is coming.  Even to the mid-Atlantic.  Can New York, Massachusetts, Chicago and the prairie be far behind?


Hold on!  If it’s not there yet, it’s coming!


12 February 2014

Ketchup

Here’s a little catch up post:

  • ·         The Seahawks won the Super Bowl!  But, you knew that already…  still, we’re happy!  My hair color is slowly washing out.  Still quite colorful, though!

  • ·         Remember the old dog we were fostering?  Angus?  He got adopted!  Amazingly, there were three different families that were interested in him and we had to let him go.  He is now living downtown in one of the swankiest neighborhoods in Portland.  He has a middle-aged dog buddy and two happy humans to keep him company.  We haven’t taken on another foster yet, but we will.

  • ·         I have filled the open support staff position (again) in my office and I am sending up a prayer that it is for the last time.   We’ll see.  Once she gets up to speed, I will be transferring some of my workload to her and scaling back on my hours.  I am so excited at the prospect of working less!

  • ·         A friend from childhood is coming to Portland on a college scouting trip with her son.  She asked if they could stay.  When we were talking about it, I thought the plan was for them to come on Friday and leave on Saturday.  So, I said yes.  Then she sent me her itinerary.  They are coming Thursday and leaving Monday.  Who does that?!  We haven’t seen each other for many, many years; I’ve never met her son; we have other plans…  yikes!  T is fuming, of course.  I mean, it’s a holiday weekend!  We had planned to sleep in!  We’ll see how this plays out.  There’s little chance that they will get a second invitation. (Am I being too grouchy? Not sure.)

  • ·         I’ve been enjoying the Olympics – despite Bob Costas’ eye issues.  But, just like every other time, I take issue with the broadcasting decisions.  Why do we only get to see the pretty people, or the sure winners, or just the Americans?  And, for crying out loud, why is NBC running infomercials on Saturday instead of showing non-stop games?!  Gah!!!  If only I were in charge of the broadcast!  We would see it ALL!

  • ·         The snow.  Ok, I hesitate to add this to the list since all of you live in places that get real winter weather and have been bludgeoned by it this winter.  BUT.  We had a snow storm in Portland that shut the city down.  It was crazy.  Kind of fun since it happens so seldom, but also kind of pathetic and aggravating.  The snow was followed by an ice storm just to add to the transportation woes, but we are all back at work now and the snow has melted.  At least throughout the metro area.  Hopefully we got lots in the mountains and it will last.  We don’t want to follow California into a drought.   I did get my cross country skis out and went around the block.  That was fun.  Then I went inside and watched the Olympians cross country skiing.  Nice juxtaposition, I though.  :-)


I think that’s it for now.  I’m trying to keep track of stuff and actually post the occasional update. 

Cheers, m’dears!

31 January 2014

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

Ok, I know it's only Friday, but we are stoked!


Yes, I dyed my hair blue and green for the game.  I went with the throwback blue and the current neon green.  T has the dark blue of the current uniforms and the neon green.  Here's something funny: I had dinner with my dad last night and he didn't say a word.  I don't know if he didn't notice or just thought it was... to be expected?  I don't know.  Funny guy.  Maybe he's rooting for the Donkeys and didn't want to say anything.  :-)

Are you going to be watching?  Are you going to root for my Seahawks?  Kaw!  Kaw!

Here's to a good game.  And a Seattle WIN!

27 January 2014

Past to Present

Facebook Reconnection

Sometime last year or the year before, I decided to look up a girl (ok, no longer a girl) with whom I had gone on a summer home-stay language course in Guadalajara, Mexico.  We spent 5 weeks living with a family, attending classes in the mornings, and absorbing the culture in the afternoons and evenings.  Somehow we survived.

I was 16 and Kitty was 15.  Let me tell you, there was virtually no supervision!  There was so much potential for trouble!  We found some, but were fortunate enough to avoid much, much more.  Just as an aside, I will say that it was never a 'girlfriend' situation, or even a girl crush.  Just friends and roommates.

So, I looked her up and found her living in Anchorage, Alaska.  She has a son in college in Portland and said that she travels here periodically.  We tried to get together one time last year but the schedules just wouldn’t 
cooperate.  This time, though, it worked out.

We met for drinks at a pub near my house yesterday afternoon.  Besides her college attending son, her daughter has just moved to Portland to complete an internship in town.  So, she has twice as many reasons to visit the Rose City. 

I wasn’t sure what it would be like to reconnect with someone I hadn’t seen for nearly 40 years.  That’s a lot of water under the bridge!  As it turned out, she is a wonderful person and instead of having a quick, awkward drink and scooting out of there, we stayed and chatted for about three hours.  Three hours!  We reminisced about our adventures, about the other kids in the program, we had a lot of laughs and reminded each other of stories the other had forgotten.

I also got to meet her daughter towards the end of our get together.  A lovely young woman, a do-gooder like her mom; smart, sweet, and genuine.  I suggested that she take a self defense class at my school, and I think she will.  She is smart, but she has grown up in Alaska and Portland is a lot more like a city than Anchorage.


That’s something good that I can say about Facebook.  It sometimes helps people reconnect with friends from the past.  I'm glad we met up!

23 January 2014

Yes, another.

But, it will be different this time!

Last Saturday we went down to the shelter and picked up another dog to foster.  Not a puppy this time, that was just too hard.  Too hard on T, for sure, because: puppies!  So adorable!  This time, though, it will be different.  Probably too different.  This time we are fostering an old dog.  Here he is:



Handsome oldster, isn't he?!?

His shelter name is Walter, but that didn't work for me because I have a brother with the same name.  Too awkward.  We decided on Angus.  We tried out lots of other names, calling him everything we could think of with a good boy! tone in our voices.  He was picked up as a stray on the 12th and no one has come to claim him.  The shelter originally listed him as a lab cross, but he clearly isn't.  Our best guess is Cattle dog, Australian Shepherd, or Heeler mix.  Hence the name Angus.  I thought that was rather clever.  Soon he will even respond to it!

Here's the thing.  Old dogs don't stand much of a chance at getting adopted.  We didn't want him to have to live the rest of his life at the shelter so we took him in, knowing that we'll probably have him as long as he lasts.  The shelter will call it a foster placement for several months, but after that they will consider it an adoption.  That's ok.  He's super easy going, gets along with the other pets (although, he does want to herd them), walks perfectly on a leash and just wants to hang out with us all the time.  The shelter vet speculated that he was about 10 years old, but who knows.

I wasn't willing to adopt the puppy but I will definitely keep the old dog.

(Photo: taken by me.  But, that is not T sitting behind Angus.  It's a friend of hers.)

10 January 2014

Football Fever!

OK, people!  The game is tomorrow!

SHOW YOUR COLORS!

This is me at work today.  I tried to post it during the day, but I was too damned busy.  Not too busy to take a picture, but busy.  Anyway.

So, my team, the Seattle Seahawks, are in the playoffs and actually, leading the league.  They are playing the New Orleans Saints tomorrow.  At Seattle, which is a huge advantage.  We are hopeful and cautiously optimistic and will be yelling our heads off tomorrow during the game.  Give it a looksee if you happen to have the time, and please, root for my team!




04 December 2013

December Update

Hello, Friends!

Well, I did it.  I completed NaNoWriMo!  It was a struggle, of course, to get 50,000 cohesive words written in 30 days, but it was fun.  Some days were amazing!  Some days the characters took over and told their stories and I was just the fingers on the keyboard.  Some days… not so much.  The story is one I started telling my daughter when she was little.  It’s about a brave girl who sees that something is wrong in the world and sets out to fix it.  Some of the characters are clearly family members of ours (including me and Zoe), but most of it is purely imagination.  I haven’t actually finished the story, however, because 50,000 words were not enough.  Well, it may end up being about that length after editing, but the story itself isn’t finished yet.  I will continue working on this project though because it was interesting, fun, and (mostly) a pleasure to write.

During the last week of the month, I came down with a wretched cold.  A cold so bad that I had to miss work, which I rarely do.  It is still lingering with a yucky head full of snot and a deep, phlegmy cough.  Gross.  We had to push our Thanksgiving dinner back a day because I was just too tired to prepare anything.  Zoe and Rob came down and it was great to have the help in the kitchen (Zoe, not Rob, obvs).  We had seven people for dinner.  My dad and the local (crazy) brother came and my brother brought a friend.  Which was a surprise!  My dad called about 15 minutes before they came over to let me know.  Hey, thanks for the heads up!  It was fine, of course, but I did have to set an extra place and rearrange some of the dishes and linens.  I have six matching plates but I didn’t want her to feel like she was crashing the party so I mixed them all up.  Oh, the trials and tribulations, right?  Ha!

Besides me coming down with the cold, T picked up a stomach bug from her mother.  The day before Thanksgiving, her mom had to go to the hospital for rehydration, and thankfully T was not quite that bad.  But, on Friday, T was up all night puking and was weak and shaky the next day.  Naturally, I was afraid that it was food poisoning, but no one else got sick so I’m pretty sure it was the bug that her mom had and not my cooking.

While I was sick, I was too tired to even read your blogs.  I’m sorry!  I have been catching up little by little and hope to add my two cents by the end of the week.

That winter holiday is fast approaching.  You know, the Solstice.  The return of the light.  And the other quasi-religious one that superseded it.  We haven’t done any decorating yet, but the niece is coming over this weekend and I think we’ll get some lights strung up outside and maybe even put up a tree.  It could happen!  Can you believe that it’s December already?!?!  Wow.   

I will add one more thing, which is work related.  Did I mention that we had hired an awesome gal to fill that open position?  Well, three weeks into the job she gave her notice.  Said it just wasn’t the right fit for her.  Sigh.  So, I’m back to interviewing applicants.  The only ray of sunshine on that front is that the gal who left the job a year ago to go back to school is between programs right now and called to ask if we needed any help.  YAY!  We were able to hire her back as a temp and that has taken a lot of pressure off the rest of the staff, myself included.  Super thankful for that, o blessed Universe!

Ok, I guess that’s all the updating I’ve got for the moment.  Thanks for reading!  Have a lovely day, all of you lovely people… 

Affectionately yours,
e


10 October 2013

Thoughts on Autumn

The View from my Window

Fall came suddenly this year in the Pacific Northwest.  We were enjoying summer one day and the next day the skies opened and the water poured down.  It rained hard for a week and a half.  The trees, with their full complement of leaves, were heaving in the wind.  Branches broke, power lines snapped, and gutters overflowed in every neighborhood.

Some deciduous trees change color and drop their leaves in response to temperature, others in response to day length.  Two weeks into October, the temperatures are dropping, the days are growing shorter and the leaves are changing in every neighborhood.

From my office window the view is dense with foliage.  Against the dark green of Douglas firs, the native alders turn a rusty yellow.  They are not showy trees.  Another native, the Big Leaf maples are slightly lighter in hue but again, they don’t wear their colors like a debutante wears a gown.  More pale still are the cottonwoods, and while they aren’t bright with color, they are bright with movement.  Their leaves flicker in the wind and catch the eye.

Because I live in the city, there are many non-native trees in the landscape.  From my window is a luminous yellow tree which glows like a round torch when the sun strikes it.  Even on a dark and cloudy day it shines in bright contrast to the somber natives.  My eyes are drawn to it again and again during its brief time of seasonal glory.

There are reds and russets of maples and oaks and more yellows and oranges of elms and ash.  The purple-leaved ornamental plums turn a burnished bronze as the temperature dips.  The sweet gums and dogwoods, the tulip trees and liquidambars all blaze as their chlorophyll breaks down and the trees store up energy for the winter.

Soon, the deciduous trees will be bare but our hills never are.  The evergreens are as thick as a winter pelt.  Douglas firs tower over the landscape whether in town or in the country.  There are cedars and spruce and pine on every hill.  As the deciduous trees fade into the background, the conifers make up for their absence.  The variety in shades of green is astounding.  Some so dark and deep that they nearly look black and others almost a yellowy green that reminds us spring will come again.


But today, the view at work is dominated by that glowing ball of bright yellow.  This tree will hold its leaves for another week or so and the parade of colorful trees will march in time for a little longer.  After that, rain-soaked woods and a palette of gray and green will be the view from my window.


25 September 2013

Oh Dear

Oh dear.

Time has flown, yet again.  Hey, did you know that the phrase ‘Tempus fugit’ doesn’t mean ‘Time flies’ but rather ‘Time flees’.  Still, I learned in university that ‘Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like raspberries.’

Umm… where was I?

Oh, yes, my poor neglected blog.  Sigh.

So, the good news is that we have extended and offer to an applicant for our open position and she has accepted it.  Halle-fucking-lujah!  This time it’s going to be so, so much better than the last time when the top bosses didn’t listen to me.  They hired a nut and we all paid the price.  This time, they agreed with my choice and I have high hopes for this woman in this job.  Extremely qualified.  Friendly, but not pushy or weird with it.  Young enough to think this is a great position, but not childishly young.  I’m hopeful.  This is good news because it means that the unreasonable workload that I and my entire staff have been struggling under will be lifting soon.  Mid October, to be precise.  I am ready for it!

But, I did want to say hello to you all who happen to drift by here every now and again.  Hello!  I also wanted to update you on some goings on around Chez E.

So, the whole marriage equality thing.  Raise your hand if you have mixed emotions about getting married.  Me!  Me!  I do!

We were watching tv the other night and there was something on about gay marriage and T looked over and said, ‘When are we going to get married?’

I have been dreading this conversation for a quite awhile.  I remained silent.

Marriage is now legal in Washington State, which is right across the river from us and just happens to be my partner’s home state.  But, I thought I was safe because hey, we live in Oregon!  Not legal here!  Plenty of our people have crossed the river and pledged their troth in the ‘Couv, though.  It’s easy, if you want to get married.

Then she said, ‘You liked someone’s post about marriage equality, right?  Well, don’t you want to get married?’

I, trying hard not to sound panicky or hunted, said, ‘Well, I believe that we should have equal rights, including marriage, but I don’t necessarily want to get married.’  What a waffler!

‘Why? Why not get married?’ and then the inevitable ‘Don’t you love me enough to get married?’

AAAARRRGGGHHH! 

Don’t go there!  For the love of all things fleeting and temporary, please don’t go there!

Because, no.  I don’t want to get married.

I was married once.  To a man.  It was disastrous.  Thank the Heavens Above that my daughter and I survived.  And, yes, I realize that this is completely different.  T is not a man.  She is a lovely, hardworking, compassionate, funny, attractive, sexy, needy, clingy, joined-at-the-hip, self-doubting woman.  So, you know, a regular gal.  A typical lesbian – if there is such a thing.

We are registered domestic partners.  That felt like enough to me, even though it is definitely a second class citizen category.  I am in favor of marriage equality in theory, and for other people.  I just don’t want to get married!

There’s another aspect that I haven’t told her yet.  My workplace just announced that they will begin treating all same sex married persons the way the IRS does; which means that they will subtract one’s benefit dollars from one’s income pre-tax instead of post-tax.  That makes one’s taxable gross smaller, so that one pays less in income tax.  Well, isn’t that wonderful!  Yes, it is!  But, it’s really going to force my hand.  Why can’t they treat domestic partnership the same?  Wah, wah, wah.  I should be celebrating, not whining.

But, here’s the thing.  I have never been ‘all in’ in this relationship.   I’ve never felt that this was going to last.  I’m astounded that we’re still together after 5 years.  I’m a coward for not breaking up, if I feel that way, but it’s not a bad relationship.  It’s not like either of us is mean to the other or treats the other badly.  We get along well enough.  But, well enough for what?  For marriage?  I don’t think so.

Oh, I know, we can always get divorced if we part ways.  Well, yes, but why would I get married if I thought it was going to end in divorce eventually?  That makes no sense either.  I’m telling you, I had a hard time signing up for domestic partnership for these very reasons.  But, in order to put T on my insurance, I had to. 

So, there I am.  Staring down the specter of marriage when I should be celebrating it.  What’s a gal to do?  What would you do?

Oh, one other piece of news.  Because my partner works for – and volunteers for -  the county animal shelter, we are now fostering a puppy.  Super cute mutt that is probably a cross between a pit bull and a shar pei.  Funny looking little girl dog.  Very smart, very loving, very puppy-ish.  
WE ARE NOT KEEPING HER!