21 December 2012

Winter Solstice

I'm ready for the return of the light.  How about you?

This wee poem is a few years old, but still serviceable.


Thoughts on the Winter Solstice
21 December 2006

The sun came up
And the sea of fog brightened
And the milky light of the streetlamps
Paled in the reflective atmosphere

Last night's rain cleared the air
And this morning
The breath of the sea flows in from the west
Yes, it is winter
And again
We move forward into spring

copyright: mine

Happy Solstice, friends.  Let's set an intention for peace and joy worldwide.  We all need it.







17 December 2012

Incomprehensible

That's all.

Incomprehensible.

I've got nothing and too much to say about it all.  I couldn't even post this last week because I couldn't take it  all in.  Still can't.

No need to comment.  I know that we all feel it.


11 December 2012

Clackamas Town Center

Hi Lovely Blog Readers,

No, I was not shopping at Clackamas, and so far, no reports of family or friends having been at the mall this afternoon either.  I appreciate your concern, but we are all fine.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and everyone involved.  So tragic.  Incomprehensible.

xoxoxo


06 December 2012

6 December 2012

Washington State Pride!

Congratulations to all of the same sex couples who lined up at their County buildings in order to receive their official, state sanctioned marriage licenses!

I looked at the news last night and this morning, at the faces full of emotion, and thought, how can anyone say that this is bad or wrong or evil?  The comments on the local news websites were mostly positive but always the sour note creeping in from some troll or another.

My gal is from Vancouver and if we lived over the river we might have celebrated the date differently.  As it is, we cheered from Portland and looked for familiar faces on the news.

T did not bring up the possibility of our getting married.  Whether that's because she doesn't want to or doesn't want to find out that I don't want to, I can't tell.  Also, we live in Oregon, not Washington.  And, the whole marriage thing is gesture until we have federal recognition.  We already file joint taxes in Oregon since we are registered domestic partners.  Is it enough?  Hell no.  I don't like being denied my rights as a citizen.  Is it going to change?  Of course it is.  Remember that old saying, 'When the people lead, the leaders will follow'?  Eventually, it won't be an issue.

But, do I want to get married?

No.

How about you?

30 November 2012

November -- Done!

Hello Friends!  Gosh, I've missed you all!

Made it!  Survived and WON at NaNoWriMo.  I have written over 50,000 words this month, almost all of them about my mom.  And about me and my mom.  And our family.  And, and, and.  It's a lot of words, but it just begins to scratch the surface of what I want to say about her.  Still, it's a start.

What else is going on?

For the last year and a half I have been on my own schedule, stumbling through life.  For the couple of decades before that I had been getting up painfully early to be to work before dawn's early crack.  This let me be home in the afternoon when I was raising the Kid.  Well, when my mom got sick and I started taking care of her in the mornings, I no longer had to set my alarm to get up.  That was nice.  Real nice.  It's now been a year since my darling mumsey left me, but did I go back to my previous early morning schedule?  I did not.  In fact, I forgot how to set my alarm clock!  No kidding.  I had to download instructions online this week.  I had to be to work early one day and I was damned if I could remember how to set the thing.  Ridiculous, I know.  You don't get to toss out the alarm clock until you retire!

One thing I will need the alarm for is to get my lazy ass out of bed and back to the gym.  I stopped going on a regular basis this summer.  We had a big upsurge in busy-ness at work and besides that I was riding my bike to work.  So, I felt ok about not going.  Now, however, the rainy season has set in and I just don't feel like commuting in a downpour, spending all day feeling damp, and then riding home in the pitch black, wet night.  Just doesn't sound like a good time to me.  So, it's back to the gym before work.  Hence the alarm clock and it's mechanical intricacies.

Here's a big thing.  You probably remember from my whining about it that I don't love my job and have made up my mind to explore other options.  I've been giving this topic a lot of thought over the past year or so, and have come to a decision.  I am going to go back to school and get a degree in Engineering.

Let's let that sink in for a minute, shall we?

Engineering.

I can just imagine that stunned look on your faces.

It may sound crazy, and it may indeed be crazy, but I'm going to go for it.  I have some ideas about small scale energy generation and I would like to learn the theory and practice of how to make it work.  Actually, I have some ideas about other projects as well, and I'm really looking forward to taking them beyond the idea phase.  I'm excited about it!

But, engineering requires a whole lot of math.  In my previous scholastic career, I studied plant biology.  There was some math involved in that but I didn't have to go beyond algebra, trigonometry and statistics.  So, I'll have to do calculus.  I AM NOT AFRAID!  She shouted to the Universe...

I'm planning on doing a self-study refresher through the Khan Academy and then I'll take the math placement test at the University.  I am totally cool with repeating the basics because I think it will be important to really understand the nuts and bolts of this stuff.

So, that's what's going on with me in a nutshell.

Just to catch you up on the day to day stuff, here's a little overview of the past month or so.

  • The end of October was the one year anniversary of my mom's death.  My daughter came down from Seattle and she and I, my dad and my younger brother got together for a little ... what ... 'acknowledgement' might be the best word for it.  The kid and Pop and I had a lovely tea using all the best china.  Later the kid and Pop and I polished silver together and talked about mumsey.  The last day of her visit was when my brother joined us and we all sat down at the table together.  It wasn't enough for me, but at least it was something.

  • Thanksgiving came and went.  We had six at the table and it was generally pleasant.  My dad and brother came, Zoe and her man, and me and T.  I had lots of help in food preparation and everything turned out well.  Sent leftover home with everyone so that we didn't feel obligated to eat all that stuff.

  • Speaking of eating, I gained back a couple of pounds over the holiday but overall I am still down 20 pounds since starting Weight Watchers.  Still losing!  Back to the gym should help with that...

  • The gf and I are getting along moderately well.  I'll settle for that right now.  We've got that other holiday coming up though and her mom is expecting her to be there.  I don't really feel like going - especially since they don't much like me after my outburst of this summer.  I would stay home, gladly, but T's feelings would be hurt and I don't need to do that.  I am still debating whether or not I can do it.  Undecided.

  • New furnace.  Ouch.  The house is nice and toasty warm and we have the latest thing in thermostats (the Nest), but man oh man was that sucker expensive.  Oh the joys of home-ownership.
I think that's it.  The large and small and in between.  I hope you are all doing well.  I've been reading your blogs when I can and when you post... haven't heard from some of you for as long as you haven't heard from me.  I guess it just goes like that sometimes.  

Let's all catch our breath before the next onslaught.  December starts TOMORROW!


12 October 2012

Viv ian

Here are some snaps of our adorable vin tage tra iler, Viv ian.  These were taken during our weekend trip to Lincoln City on the Oregon coast.  We went down for Coast Pride, remember?


She is a 1968 Car dinal De luxe.





The interior pictures all turned out too dark, so I'll have take some more for you to see the inside.
:-)


09 October 2012

T's New Project

Well, well, well.  October.  Once again, I'm astounded at the passage of time.  I'm taking your advice though, and doing more floating than treading water...  I mean, why make it harder than it needs to be, right? So, floating.  October is floating by.

I thought I'd just give a quick update on the latest thing round our place.  Remember that we have a vintage travel trailer that we love?  The one I still haven't gotten any pictures of to post...  yeah, that one!  Well, we were going to be taking her out one more time this month -- next weekend, in fact, but have had a change in plans.  For one thing, this long stretch of sunny weather is coming to an end, and even though having a trailer means that one can camp in the rain, we're not going.

This summer, T decided that she had done such a wonderful job of rehabbing our trailer that she would look for another one to rebuild as a project.  Sure, I said, that's a good project for you, but where are you going to put it???  Our driveway is far too small and already has a trailer parked in it.  There's no room for a second one.  She made arrangements to park the new trailer over at her mom's house.  There's plenty of room!

So, she found a trailer and bought it for $100.  Probably, the guy should have paid her to haul it off.  Wow, was it rotten inside!  She felt ok about it though because the appliances were worth more than $100, so yeah.  She's been hard at work gutting it out, saving what is salvageable, and rebuilding it from the frame up. I don't know why this is fun for her, but it is.  And, she's doing a fantastic job!  This trailer will be stronger, lighter, and watertight.  All in all a good thing.  But, right now, it's not sealed up and wet weather is on it's way.  So, while we were looking forward to the weekend campout in Bend, no, we'll have to postpone it so that T can get the new trailer buttoned up.

Want to know the very best thing about this project?  It's at her mom's house and she has been spending a lot of time over there.  Which means that I have had lots more time by myself of late and that is a gift.  I know, I make it sound like I don't want to spend time with my partner, it's not that... entirely.  I just don't get enough time alone.  So, this has been really, really nice for me.

What's going on with you this fall?

11 September 2012

September?

How the hell did that happen?  September?  Already?  I have a lot of catching up to do...  Items sorted by weight for your convenience.

Large:

The teenager has decided that she would rather live with her other aunt for the second two years of high school.  I have a plethora of opinions about this ~ some positive, some negative.  Really, this one deserved it's own blog post but was shortchanged at the counter.  Suffice it to say, we are child-free again.  YAY!
There's a chance I'll write more of this drama later, just to get it out of my system.

My own kid came down to pdx for Labor Day weekend.  Yes, she brought her man, and a spare (a young friend of theirs who wanted to check out Portland), but it was still great to see her.  It's just so much better having her here on the West Coast where we can actually drive and see each other.  Or take the train.  She is coming down again soon - not this coming weekend, but the following - and we are going to a Quilt Show together!  I'm happy about that!

Medium:

We have a new boss at my work and there is a lot of uncertainty around how things will be moving forward. (As an aside, the new boss is the Chairman of the department.  In fact, he is a man but the more correct term these days is simply, Chair.  But, if I say we have a new Chair at my work it sounds like furniture.)  I so wanted to get out of here before there was any serious shuffling or rearrangement of faculty and staff.  Mostly out of laziness, and that phenomenon called "Short-timer's Syndrome."  I've only got a little over a year and a half to go before my planned departure from this place of employment.  I wanted it to be easy, dammit!  I wanted cruise control.

My daughter's father emailed me recently and asked if I still owned a property we had lived on in far north-eastern California.  Yes, I do still own it.  It's paid for and the taxes are ridiculously low so I have kept it all these years.  He asked if I would mind if he went to check it out.  No, of course not.  Then he emailed me and asked what I would want if he were to camp out there for a while.  I said he could stay as long as he wanted and if he wanted to actually live there he could just pay the property taxes.  What I didn't say, but will should the occasion arise, is that if he wants to live there he can just have the property.  I'll sign it over to him.  It's worth virtually nothing, there's virtually nothing there, it's hard to get to, there's no economy, hell, there's no electricity.  It's way off the grid.  Yes, I'll give it to him.  It feels like the right thing to do.

Small:

We took the vintage travel trailer out last weekend.  It was the Oregon Coast Pride event weekend and we decided to spend the weekend at the beach.  Had a pretty good time, too.  The weather was absolutely to be expected for the Oregon coast: cool, gray, damp.  Nice, really.  Waved at the Dykes on Bikes ~ all 20 of them (ok, it might have been just a dozen), danced at the Inferno party, spent money on good causes and supported the local economy.  And had fun!

We are planning to take the trailer out one more time before it's all rain, all the time.  We are meeting up with some other vintage trailer owners at a campground near Bend in October.  I think it will be fun to see what other people are doing with their trailers, although T wants everything to be perfect, and come on, life and vintage trailers just aren't.

Sorry I don't have pictures of the cute little box on wheels.  I'll work on that...


That's it, women.  It's been a bit of a slog lately, but I'm keeping my head above water.







08 August 2012

Not much, you?

Because I have a few minutes, I thought I'd bore you with some of the trivial thoughts that drift through my largely vacant head.


  • Weight watchers: I have lost something like 12 pounds.  It's taken over 5 months, but at least it continues to go in the right direction.  The good thing is this: I'm not hungry ALL THE TIME, as I was at first.  Plus, with their program, one can eat all the fruit one wants and hey, during summer what else does one want but fresh, local fruit.  I like that.

  • Related to losing weight, my workout buddy and I can't understand WHY, since we work out HARD three times a week and ride our bikes to work virtually everyday, why aren't we thin???  It's just not right.  Not fair.  It's frustrating.

  • I have cut waaaay back on the alcohol intake.  (Yes, I realize that I am still on practically the same subject.)  So, a couple of weeks ago I had a super shitty day and drank more than I should have.  OK, actually it was my mom's birthday and I was really sad and really missing her and I didn't set out to drink too much, it just went that way.  And, truthfully, I wasn't plastered, I wasn't rip roaring drunk... just a little over the line.  But, the abyss opened before me at some point and I just managed to avoid plunging headlong into the void.  Since then, I just have not been interested in having a drink. Well, ok, we had a couple of beers at the softball tournament.  And, I had a pint of cider when we went out to dinner last week.  But, other than that, it's been a tall glass of ice water with a splash of tart cherry juice in the evening.  And it feels right.

  • Speaking of the softball tournament, that was last weekend ~ which happened to be the hottest weekend in three years.  It was 105 degrees!  Here!  In the damp and chilly PNW.  I pitied the players.  We were only there to watch and cheer them on.  We didn't do too much cheering on; Miss ADD (yes, that would be T, my irksome partner) got bored and antsy and we left after one damned game.  Our friends were disappointed, as I was, but what can you do?

  • And, last but not least, JAM!  I have been making jam like a maniac!  All of the fresh fruit that is available at the Farmer's Market, and all of the berries from our garden are being jarred up.  Last year I froze pounds and pounds of berries and made many jars of sour cherry jam.  This year I have just made jam.  Raspberry, blueberry, tayberry, strawberry, apricot, peach, and loads of sour cherry.  There might be another variety, I can't think of it right now though.  T and I have made eight jars of dill pickles and I just bought four and a half pounds more of pickling cukes for another batch.  This makes me happy.

So that's it for today, my friends.  Not much to say, but I'm sharing it anyway.  


18 July 2012

Work Surprise

My office-mate is out on maternity leave.  This has been blessing; she is a real chatterbox and kind of drives me nuts.  The woman who is taking her place is only here a couple of hours a week, so that's nice.

BUT!  Today the replacement Came Out to me!  I had no idea!  Total gaydar failure!

She asked me about my bike ride home and we were talking about neighborhoods and what-not.  She said that when she and her ex split up she moved to the west-side.  Then, this:  "My ex is a she."

I said, "You play for my team?  Fantastic!"  Now she wants me to hook her up and I am going to start looking...    :-)




16 July 2012

In-laws... sigh


Alright, a confession.

I behaved badly at the in-law’s house this weekend. 

It’s kind of a long story, and a sad one, so I’ll abridge it.

My girlfriend’s brother is … mentally challenged.  I would say retarded but the family hates that word.  He is not Down’s Syndrome, just slow, illiterate, low functioning, etc.  You know, retarded.  This never stopped him from meeting women, marrying and reproducing, though.  And his kids?  Also retarded, in varying degrees.  The eldest, a girl, lives with me and T during the school year ~ at least until she gets through high school (or I kick them both out).  She is the most functional of the bunch.  The boy, Wayne, lives with his dad.

So, we were over at T’s mom’s house on Saturday.  T’s sister, Pam, was there too, having her mother color her hair.  The kids were at their own mother’s house for once.  We were chatting about random stuff and eventually the hair coloring was concluded and Pam went to pick up the kids.

When they got back the usual conversation started about how difficult Clark, the retarded brother, is to be around.  How he has a million rules for Wayne about everything, and how he is always yelling at him and is, in fact, quite mean to the boy.  He is not allowed to turn on the tv by himself (he is 15), or get a glass of water by himself.  He is not allowed to open the refrigerator without asking.  He is not allowed to play with toys he has been given because he might break them.  He is not allowed to do much of anything.  And, seriously, it’s the halt leading the blind here.  They are both well below an IQ of 70.

This conversation comes up frequently.  Everybody bemoaning how hard Clark is on Wayne, and nobody choosing to deal with the situation. 

Eventually, on Saturday, it got down to talk of physical violence and how Clark had better not hit Wayne because Wayne is now big enough to hit him back.

This is when I lost it.  Talk about triggering.

I asked why it was ok for Wayne to have to live this way.  Why wasn’t anyone putting him first?  Who was looking out for Wayne if he had to grow up with an abusive father?  There was some backpedaling at that point, but the bottom line is that Wayne doesn’t count for very much in the family.  It’s appalling.  It’s wrong. 

And the thing of it is, Wayne is a much nicer kid than his sister who lives with me and T.  She is sly and secretive and withholding and selfish.  Her much more retarded brother has a sweet nature and an open personality.  He is cheerful and outgoing, she is moody and withdrawn.   

T’s mom started to say how she knew what it was like to live with an abuser.  Well, then, why are you allowing your grandson to go through that, I asked.  Oh, it’s not that bad, she said.  I look out for him, she said.

It’s a total fucked up mess, I can tell you that.

Nobody wants Wayne.  Grandma won’t take him.  T and I simply can’t ~ plus we’ve already committed to the sister.  Pam and her family won’t.  They don’t like the kid.  They are a bunch of snobs who like to pretend that they aren’t related to the rest of the family.  I think that he should be allowed to go live with his mother.  Although, that is probably not the best solution.  She is also of low intelligence and doesn’t always have her own place to live.  I believe that she is living with her own mother currently.

So, yes, I lost it.  I ranted for a minute or two and then stood up, gave Wayne a hug, and walked out the door.  Went and sat in my car waiting for T to come out and drive me home.  If I had had the keys in my pocket I would have left.  On the way home I lost it again, or further, and said all kinds of things that hurt my partner’s feelings.  But, really, at that point I was both crying and shouting and far, far beyond discretion.  Ugh. 

I’m not sure why this situation affected me so much on Saturday.  Well, ok, I had an energy alignment on Thursday, my therapist on Friday, and I think my usual walls and defenses were down.  I just couldn’t bear the thought of that kid living like that. 

So, now I have to apologize to my mother in law for being an obnoxious jerk.  I won’t take back what I said, but the way I said it was inappropriate.  It’ll be awkward, for sure, especially since the woman is nearly deaf and telephone conversations must be conducted at very loud volume.  I’ll probably email my sister in law as well.  We’ll see how long they hold a grudge…

A fun weekend with the in-laws.  How was yours? 

(Yes, this was the abridged version.)



22 June 2012

Pride Roundup 2012!


Pride Roundup

Last weekend was Pride in my hometown.  Not that we’re not proud year-round…
Anyway, here’s how it went down.

Friday evening ~ hair cut.  Gotta look good for Pride, right?  T had a light trim and I had the clippers

Left side: shortish but swoopy









Right side: super short!

(I have a cowlick in front... can you tell?)

Saturday I had planned a busy but doable evening for us.  Before we could start on the gay fun, we had a backyard party for a friend to attend.  Got that done.  Then went home to don our gay apparel.

Next up was the Dyke March.  Now, let me give you a little history on that one.  Every year I say that I want to go to the Dyke March and every year T objects.  She used to say things like, “You just want to look at other women’s boobs.”  Or, “Why, are you looking for a new girlfriend?”  Yes, I know, she’s painfully insecure.  She doesn’t say that anymore, but this year it was, “It’s such a ridiculous spectacle.  I just hope the rest of the world doesn’t judge all lesbians by that.”  I mean, really.  I can’t spend the time going over these pointless arguments.  It’s …  never mind.

So, this year we were going.  A friend of mine was going to come with us.  My friend the jumper.  She needs to stay busy these days and I thought that our busy evening would be perfect for her.  We had a complicated arrangement logistically.  She met us at our house.  Then we took our car to the place where we would end the evening and parked it.  We got in her car and drove downtown to watch the March.  Only, when we got there, we discovered that we had missed it!  Argh!  Made T happy, though.

We went out for a bite of dinner.  There were two more things on our itinerary: the Hot Flash/Inferno Pride Party which was slated for 8pm to 4am.  No, we were not staying for the whole thing.  And the other entry on the itinerary was the World Naked Bike Ride.  We saw it last year and unbelievably T said, “Let’s do that next year!”  Of course she changed her mind, but still wanted to see it.

So, at this point, sitting in the cafĂ© having dinner, I said “look, if this is too much for one evening, let’s skip the bike ride and just go to the Party.”  Yes, they agreed with that.  Fine.

So, we drive back across the river and arrive at the warehouse for the big Pride Party.  Holy smokes!  The place is teeming!  Teeming and Steaming!  We danced some, we had a drink or two.  We saw lots of friends, lots of gals who we typically only see on Pride weekend.  My fragile friend left after a couple of hours.  We stayed on a bit longer but eventually the heat and noise drove us out.  When we were leaving, maybe 11:00ish, there was a line down the block to get in.  I love that.

On the way home, we got up to 7th and Burnside and found traffic at a standstill.  We drove up a few more blocks and parked the car and got out.  What do you know, we got to watch the Naked Bike Ride after all!  In fact, we couldn’t get across Burnside to go home for probably 45 minutes.  There are thousands, literally thousands of people participating in the ride.  Wow.

On Sunday, my fragile friend was picking us up to go to the Parade.  We got downtown in a timely manner and found a reasonably good spot along the route.  T and I nipped in to Hobo’s for a couple of quick mimosas.  We met up with another friend and the four of us watched the parade together.  Afterwards, we walked down to the Waterfront and strolled through the booths and enjoyed a couple of beers.  My fragile friend left and we caught a ride home with T’s friend Donna.  I would have liked to stay longer – the people watching is fantastic and we hadn’t seen some friends that we usually see there.  But, overall, we had a pretty good time.

Who else has a Pride story to tell?  I hope you are all out there waving your rainbow flags!



14 June 2012

Fun evening!

Tonight I am taking a canning class!

Last summer I found a great source for sour cherries and made gallons and gallons of sour cherry jam.  Zoe was in town and helped me with that and we had a fun, if steamy, time.  T and I put up 18 jars of pickles out of our garden.  In the past I have canned peaches and pears and sauces and jams of all sorts.  My mom and I used to make cherry plum jam every year and it was so good!  It's very satisfying to have all of those beautiful jars of jam all lined up in the pantry, very satisfying!

So, last summer I found a recipe for sour cherry jam on this site, Food In Jars. Marissa McClellan, the blogger and canner extraordinaire, is teaching the class.  She just published a cook book and is touring the country doing book signings and canning classes.  Oddly enough, though she lives in Pennsylvania now she is an Oregonian, specifically a Portlander!

We're going to be making strawberry lemon jam in the class.  I hope we get to take a jar home!

btw: I'm cross-posting this to my family blog...

11 June 2012

The old gray mare...

How is this for an irritation?

On Thursday evening, I knelt down on the kitchen floor to get a plastic container out of a lower cabinet.  When I stood up, my right ankle was totally effed up~!  I hyper-extended it somehow and couldn't put any weight on it.  On Friday I had to call in sick to work and actually hobble around on crutches.  Pathetic!

Today is Monday, and I'm getting along with just an Ace bandage.  It's still a little sore and twingey, but definitely better.  But, I couldn't work out or ride my bike and that's irksome.

It's hell getting old, let me tell you!  Still, it beats the alternative.


31 May 2012

Better

Ok, here's some better news:

I've lost 8 pounds!

My work is offering membership in Weight Watchers for free and I thought I would give it a try.  This past year I have packed on quite a few pounds and I'd like to shed them.  I've been stocky most of my life, and I'm fine with that.  But, I crossed the line from stocky to stout a while ago and it's contributing to my unhappiness.

I started the WW at the end of February.  It's taken me all of March, April and May to lose 8 pounds but at least I'm losing and not gaining.  My goal is to lose another 42 pounds, and yes, that means that I was hovering around 50 pounds overweight.  It's probably more, if you consider my height (or lack thereof) and those grossly unrealistic weight charts that doctors and nutritionists have.

So, if it took me 3 months to lose 8 pounds, then the rest of it should be gone by... hmm... this time next year.  Oh, whatever, it'll just take a while.

And, can I take a moment to complain just a little?  Men and young women have it so much easier!  Especially men!  They just think about losing weight and it falls off.  Grr.  Let me tell you something: post-menopause it gets a lot harder to lose the weight.  I mean, I work out 3 times a week and ride my bike to work as often as I can and it is not enough.  Sigh.  So, I'm doing something about it and it'll take a while, but it's a relief to see the scale going in a happier direction.

Cheers, y'all!


22 May 2012

A short review


This will sound familiar to many of you:

I have started so many blog posts…
I have written so many posts in my head…
I have meant to get back here and keep you posted…

But, here I am.  Late, with not much to say, but here.

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s cancer diagnosis.  Fucking cancer.

And, while the year hasn’t always been an unremitting shitstorm, there’s been a lot of crap and a lot of negativity. 

In July my old dog died.  Well, we knew that was coming.  In March T’s dog died.  That was unexpected. 

Three of my friend’s mothers died last year ~ one right before my mother and two soon after.  What’s up Universe?

On my birthday last month I had coffee with a friend in the morning and then she went home and tried to kill herself.  She was not successful, thankfully.  She spent two weeks in the hospital and is out now.  Several friends, myself included, are helping her get her life back together and get back on track.  This has required bringing over dinner (easy enough) and housework (sure) and spending the night at her house once a week or so.  Her therapist reassures us that we are not responsible for keeping her alive; that is her job.  We are there to remind her that she is loved and is a valued and worthwhile person.  And, while I am happy letting people know that I love them, this whole thing has shaken my confidence.  I mean, we had coffee together ~ and talked about her problems ~ and then she tried to kill herself.  Yes, I know that she was in the throes of a mental illness episode.  Still. 

But, wait, I hear you say.  What about the good stuff?  Come on, Pollyanna! 

Ok, yes, there have been good things.  The most significant is my daughter moving back to the PNW.  That has been great.  My pop is healthy, that’s a relief.  Despite my suicidal friend I had a good weekend away with my two besties and my daughter last month.  So, yeah, some good things.

But, I think I need a reboot.  A psychic realignment.  I’m out of sync with something and need to get back into rhythm.  To that end, I am planning on taking some days off when the school year is over and T’s niece goes back to Grandma for the summer.  I’m going to burn some incense and say some prayers and meditate.  I’m going to clear the energy of my house and my spirit.  I’m going to open all of the windows and doors and let them breeze blow through.  I’m going to look within and without.  I’m going to re-evaluate.



19 April 2012

Yep. Still here.

Hello, Blog Friends!

How have you been?  Good?  Fair to middlin'?  Hanging on by your fingernails?  Hope all is well with you... really.

I've been... meh.  So so, on a good day.  Just not feeling much joy of late.  I won't burden you with my depressive woes, cuz that's boring, but I'll just say that I've thought about you all frequently.  I've been reading your blogs (and even commenting occasionally), and have been meaning to write *something* for crying out loud, for weeks.  Thanks for sharing your lives electronically -- it takes me away from my self-involvement and that's a refreshing change.

Finally, though, I have something pleasant to say.  Yay!  Today is my daughter's birthday.  Yes, the Kid is 28 years old!  Wow!  How the hell that happened, I have no idea.

And, to continue with the pleasantness, next week I am going to visit my two besties and the Kid is coming too!  We are all going to get together at Lisa's house in Long Beach, California.  The last time the four of us were together was for Zoe's 21st birthday, so.... yeah, it's been awhile.  It's going to be fun!  Zoe and I are flying down on Thursday night and KA is taking the train down from the Bay Area.  We are going to go over to Catalina for the day on Friday and then just hang out all weekend.  There is a beach bonfire planned for Saturday night which is what Lisa chose for her birthday celebration.  There will certainly be some consumption of champagne and assorted alcoholic beverages.  There will also be some delicious food because Lisa is a fabulous cook.  We are planning a marathon card game session as well.  Oh yes, we will be having those famed 'good times'.  I'm very much looking forward to it!

What's that?  What will T be doing that weekend?  By some twist of fate or cosmic alignment, T's sister has a trade show to attend for work that same weekend and asked T is she would like to come along.  They are going to Las Vegas for the weekend.  So, no guilt trips being thrown my way from the partner.  Whew!

So, that's my news for today.  I'll try to get back before another month (or so) slips by.  Thanks for reading, lovely people.

28 February 2012

Some days are just crappy

Yesterday was Monday.  And, for my partner it was the Monday from hell.

After lunch, her boss and the boss's boss called her in to the office.  Told her that due to budget issues they were going to have to lay her off.  No, she hadn't done anything wrong, they loved her work ethic, but as the temp she was the first to go.  (Never mind the fact that they are running an ad for a maintenance worker at a lower pay grade.  Whatever.)

That afternoon, as we commiserated about the job, we got the call we were dreading from the Vet.  The results came back on the needle biopsy he had done on T's beloved dog.  Yep, as feared, lymphoma.  Chloe, the Rottweiler, is only 8 years old but that's the same age that her previous Rotty died of cancer.  Still.  A shitty and sobering day.

But, because my middle name is Pollyanna, here's the good:  T went to work this morning at her previous place of employment.  William is delighted to have her back.  And, Chloe isn't acting sick at all so we are hoping that will have some good quality time for a while yet.

Plus, for me anyway, there is the realization that other sorrows make these pale in comparison.  My friend's mother is dying right now, something that I am still coming to terms with in my own life, and the loss of a job and even of a beloved pet are not on the same scale at all.  At all.

31 January 2012

Exhausting and Confusing

Some nights are just exhausting.  Exhausting and confusing.

Last night I dreamed that I was back in the car with my Pop on our long car trip.  In the dream I looked down at myself and thought, “What the hell!  I can’t be naked with my dad!”  I got out of bed and put on a t-shirt and got back in bed and fell asleep.

Sometime later I woke up overheated and thought, “What the hell!  Why am I wearing a shirt?”  Took it off and tossed it to the foot of the bed.

Ok, that’s odd enough.  I’ve never been a sleepwalker, let alone a sleep dresser.  But, here’s what’s even weirder: I did the whole thing AGAIN.  Dreamed the same dream, reached down to the foot of the bed and dragged the shirt over my head and fell back asleep.  Woke yet again and thought, “Why is this shirt back on?!”  Took it off and put it under my pillow.

I’m not feeling especially well rested today.


27 January 2012

Irritating

You know what's irritating?

Waking up with a headache when you haven't had anything to drink the night before.

Atmospheric pressure and sinuses, I guess.  Hmph!

26 January 2012

Back from beyond

I’m back in Portland and recovering from the trip.  The week there was wonderful, but the two solid days of driving on either end of the week was exhausting.  Guess I’m just not as young as I used to be… and neither is my pop!

We had a great week with the Kid.  We got a ton of house repairs done, a bunch of stuff sorted by room, and even a tiny bit of yard work done.  The place looks better than it did when we arrived, not that it was a wreck, just the wear and tear of daily life.

The best thing about the week was that we had the Kid to ourselves.  Her man is already in Seattle so it was just the three of us and the pets.  Very, very nice to spend time with her!

During the long hours in the car my pop and I had plenty of time for conversation.  And, we pretty much talked the whole way across the country.  I found out that my great aunt was a lesbian.  Nice!  And that one of my mum’s best friends in college was a lesbian as well.  My pop figured out that his best friend in high school was gay.  Oh, yes, there was plenty of talk about The Gay.

The Kid is finishing up work this week.  Next week the movers come and pack the household and ship it off to the Northwest.  The Kid will be in the Northwest in just a little over a week.  Once their goods arrive at the new house, we – my pop and I – will drive her dog up to Seattle.  Oh, did I not mention the dog?  Yeah.  We brought the dog back with us in the car so that he wouldn’t have to be shipped by air.  Happily, he is a super mellow pup and is already fitting in perfectly with my household full of pets.  In fact, I think our cats are going to like him better than our dog.

I’m back at work.  Nothing new around here.  Things are much the same at home.  All to the good, I guess.  One of these days there will be big changes, but not for a bit.

That’s it for now.  I’m off to teach a couple of martial art classes this evening.  I’m slowly working my way back into my life. 

Hope the new year is treating you all well…


ps: South Dakota is bigger than you might think.



19 January 2012

Quick Update

Hello!

I'm writing from the wilds of snowy Des Moines!  OK, it's not too wild...  but it is definitely snowy.
My Pop and I drove out to help the Kid get ready for the move to Seattle.  We have been doing all sorts of home repair tasks and enjoying our favorite daughter/granddaughter's company.  Good times!  Good, good times.

I have much and more to say, but no time to say it.  I'll give you a summary when I return to pdx.

Love to all!
e

09 January 2012

So far, so good...

On the drinking, anyway.  I had no alcohol during the past week and much, much less on the weekend.  Also, something kind of funny: a prosecco that we had tried and found delightful a few weeks ago tasted ... weird ... to me this weekend.  Nothing wrong with it, per se, not like a sparkling wine that didn't get riddled properly and has a musty or moldy taste; no, it just didn't taste as good as I remembered.  So, I only had one glass.  Props to me!

Went to the gym on Friday before work and spent the rest of the weekend hobbling around like a crippled old woman.  Holy shit on FIRE!  Too much, too soon!  Couldn't go this morning because my thighs still hurt but I'll go on Wednesday.  I didn't realize how very, very out of shape I have become!  I'll just have to dial it down a notch or ten...  No need to keep up with the youngsters.  Actually, there is a woman in there who is just a couple of years older than me, and one who is nearly my mother's age ~ they both kicked my ass.  Ouch.

Got nothing done on my meditation space.  But, I haven't forgotten.  I'll get it organized when I can.

A little progress is better than no progress.

06 January 2012

This year things will be better

They have to be, right?

I have been doing a whole lotta thinking of late, naturally.  About things like longevity and mortality and, you know, the meaning of life.  Just the average thoughts that come up when one's mother dies and then the New Year rolls around.

For the short term, I have a couple of resolutions.  Or, perhaps I'll call them adjustments.  They are simple and achievable, and oh-so-average.  That's ok, though, because we all want to do these things and collectively we can encourage each other.  They are:


  • Get back to a regular work out schedule and ride my bike as often as the weather permits.  I worked out regularly last year until my mum got sick.  And, I rode my bike even when I didn't have the time to make it to the gym.  That is, I rode until the weather got too crappy and until I had to start going over to the parent's house in the evening as well as the morning.  There just wasn't enough time at that point. So, without regular exercise... let's just say that my pants are uncomfortably tight right now and I don't like it.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption to weekends only (with a caveat for special occasions).  Last year T and I went teetotal for the month of January and weekends only for the month of February.  After that our imbibition gradually crept up until we were drinking every day after work and all day long on the weekends.  That's just too much.  For one thing, it's a lot of empty calories.  For another thing, I don't like to feel that I need a drink.  I want to drink because I enjoy the taste or the fizziness of the bubbles not because I had a rough day at the office.  T is not joining me this year (which bugs me just a little) but so far so good.  I've actually been enjoying our delicious tap water and really feeling good about preserving my liver rather than pickling it.
  • Increase my time spent meditating.  I feel quite strongly the need to spend more time with an inward focus.  I may need to rearrange some physical spaces in my house to make this possible, but that's easily done.  The harder part of it is dedicating the time and encouraging the other members of my household to leave me alone.
Just those three adjustments for 2012.  There is one that fell by the wayside in 2011 that I would like to get back to, but I'm not going to pressure myself over it.  That one was reducing the amount of *stuff* in my basement.  I was going to go through a box a week but I only did about 7 or so boxes.  I really would love to take a month off and take everything out of my basement, throw 3/4's of it away, build some shelves and storage and put the rest back in an orderly manner.  That would be a pleasure!  I'll work on saving up the time and resources for that, but in the meantime it wouldn't hurt to just get rid of stuff.

Besides these immediate adjustments, I have been spending some time thinking about what is important to me in the long term.  I would like to retire in 2 years and 5 months (yeah, you bet I'm counting) and in order to do that I need to be confident about my goals and directions.  I will not be able to stop working completely, but I would very much like to get off the 40 hour/week schedule.  That is a major goal.  

So, my priorities for the rest of my life are this:
  • Make sure Zoe is safe and set up in some comfortable situation (as much as a parent can with an adult child)
  • Spend time regularly with my Pop
  • Work enough to make ends meet and have benefits
  • Have time to ponder and to pursue interests
These are not unreachable, unrealistic goals, right?  I sorely need the time to ponder.  I need quiet and undisturbed time on a regular basis.  I would like to get my thoughts in order and write more and communicate better and for this I need to be able to sit and think... I'd also like more time to walk the dog and pet the cats.  

Those are my resolutions, adjustments, goals and plans.  What are yours?