Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dreams realized?

I've had a couple of mornings with really weird dreams which reminded me of this post from nearly five years ago.

Interestingly, a photo today triggered the memory, and made me start to think about Corky and how eerily similar she looks to Rachel, as well as having grown up in the same nearby city. It is almost as if the universe heard me and delivered to me the girlfriend I not only had no clue I wanted, but the exact person I need.

From TRMS site:

Corky in a rare photo sans glasses:

Ok, looking at these, maybe they aren't exactly twins... However, I find Corky beautiful and amazing and thoughtful and loving and fetching and everything I need in my life. She tells me to breathe when I am stressed out and loves me like I haven't been loved before. She has turned me into a lover of many things I hadn't previously enjoyed. I get lost in her brown eyes and never tire of her smile and laugh, or the way she looks at me first thing in the morning.

I love Rachel from afar for the excellent job she does, but I love Corky for being mine and all of the ways she loves me back.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Turkey Whisperer

The Youngest talking to turkeys:

A new thing - in the school zone

So I have been noticing things lately that I was initially not aware of. I am going to post these with the label "school zone", so you can skip these if you want. these are all related to things that happen around the schools I am at or near, in the school zone. I hadn't noticed these for so long because I walked to school with The Boys for many years, and even when I started driving a couple of years ago, I never was in the front of said school. Now though, I have been dropping off in front of the school more often, and I see so many hinky things, and I feel the need to write them down somewhere. If you want to also share your stories of horror, let me know, and I could open up a blog or fb page, or something...

Today in the school zone:
Drop off at elementary school - There is a white loading zone in front of the school where I occasionally drop off The Youngest. I saw a car waiting in the white zone with the blinker on, indicating a desire to pull into traffic., I stopped to allow that to happen, even though I was not planning on utilizing that space. The person waved a thanks as they made a three point turn, across a double yellow line, right near the cross walk with the crossing guard.

Still not as bad as a couple of weeks ago when I was parked in the white zone, waiting for The Youngest to get out of the car, when another car pulls into the red zone and halfway across the driveway, lets out the kid(s), and proceeds to execute a three point turn while traffic in both directions is stopped, all while talking on a cell phone.

Sometimes I need to vent.

Monday, January 27, 2014

All the crap

Today was stressful. In a first world problems stressful kind of way. I had a bit more work work to do than normal - ok not too bad. The Youngest forgot his homework, so I took it to school & he called in the middle of a meeting with my boss to ask about a book he actually had. I decided to roast beets and make croutons, but clogged the sink with beet skins to the point of needing 3 bottles of drano and the disposal leaking every time I turned it on. Still waiting to see if it works. I didn't complete any of the projects I was working on, nor the laundry over the weekend. I have some debts needing to be paid, and The Youngest needs braces that I cannot currently afford. I may be moving, and that stresses me out.

I was in tears most of the afternoon, and Corky came over to give me a hug, which helped. Steve made me laugh, which also helped. I came to realize I cannot do everything all at the same time, and so I am putting aside the knitting for a while and working on the wedding book.

The things that are still on my mind, but for which nothing can currently be done: moving; finalization of divorce; getting any support.

The things I am going to care for, in order: unclog sink; complete wedding book; pay bills and balance bank account; register car; schedule vet appt for all pets; knit several favors for The Youngest's birthday and the expected grand nephew of Corky.

Also need to address the internal voices that really cripple my happiness - to talk to my therapist about this week.

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

A full weekend, with little time to write, without sacrificing time spent on other pursuits.

Corky had the day off and picked The Oldest up from school, bought him lunch and brought him to The Youngest's school where I was teaching art. We worked on negative space studies, and the kids did well. It can be a difficult concept for a high schooler, and the 5th years whom I worked with last year got it pretty well. The 4th's took a bit longer to grasp the concept, but did admirably. The ex returned from another vacation, and picked up The Boys after school. I was able to spend some time alone with Corky in celebration of 6 months together :-) It has been a good six months, with many adventures, and there is still more to discover about one another that I am looking forward to.

The Boys went to start homework only to discover that I'd left their backpacks and jackets at the Elementary school, in the office... There was much hand wringing and wailing (this was after the initial wailing over having homework on a weekend to begin with). I was able to get a hold of one of the school secretaries (a friend), and she brought it all over while running errands. We had lunch and a Nerf war with one of The Boys' friends, and my bff. Did some grocery shopping, and tested the aquarium water (which is fine) and so we restocked the fish - 5 flame tetras. Spent the evening working on the wedding book, and got a significant portion complete. When I couldn't look at the computer any longer, I completed The Oldest's knit glove. Went to repair the first glove (that the puppy chewed up), and discovered that the extent of the destruction is beyond my abilities to repair. Began the first of 10 balaclavas I have to knit for The Youngest's birthday in six weeks. Mucked it up and had to pull the first three rows and decided to just go to bed...

Got up and went to brunch with my sister, her oldest and her boyfriend. Food was yummy and The Boys were happy to see everyone. Came home, fought over homework, but got it completed. Restarted the balaclava, this time I did ok on the join. Went to see a 20 piece big band, and took the knitting, which was perfect. The yarn store is near where we were, so stopped in to get more yarn for The Oldest's glove redo, and a couple of baby hats for Corky's expected grand nephew. Corky was having a bad afternoon at work, so we surprise visited her for hugs all around, and The Boys got some treats. Came home and The Boys planned the birthday party while I knit and worked on the wedding book some more.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Morning Holiday Weekend Wrap Up

A fairly relaxing weekend for the most part.


Picked up The Youngest at 5th grade science camp. I'd really missed him for the three days and nights he was gone. We spent the afternoon together, but he had no voice (one assumes from screaming and yelling), and wiped out from (as he claims) 3 hours of sleep a night because one of the chaperones snores like a freight train. He did say he had fun. I was concerned as the week leading up to camp was full of emotional turmoil for him in particular. There were many disappointments and tears as he handled those. The oldest came home, and both were picked up by the ex for the weekend.

Corky and I (and 5 of our friends) went to the city to see The Book of Mormon after a diner dinner. Food was yummy and the musical was AWESOME! I spent the rest of the weekend with the music running through my head. I grew up in a home behind a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There were Mormons in my neighborhood. Now, my kids are friends with Mormon kids at school, and they are all very nice people. I have spoken to a number of my Mormon acquaintances and I truly believe they think I'm ok (as much as I think they are). They all know that I have a girlfriend, and none seem to have issue with that, regardless of the fact that they all sported yes on 8 stickers and lawn signs during that election. They did so without questioning the direction of their church, while I think everyone should question what authorities tell them. Could be why I am not a member of a particular religion or church. We got home super late and camped out on the living room floor.


Woke up with Corky beside me (AWESOME). Because I hadn't done any grocery shopping, we had to leave the house to eat. We headed to a great nearby breakfast place, then to a nearby town's main street / antique area. We wandered the afternoon through every shop there, and almost found the one thing we were actually looking for - a small black plastic ecko spatula (like the one below left). We did see a similar one, but with a handle like the one below right.

We stopped by my folks' place to visit and see the progress on their lanai, and the new wall color in the family room. It was a nice visit, and I think we will take my mom the next time we go antiquing. We went to dinner, small grocery trip (for provisions), and headed home for another night on the floor. I do need to clarify that we were on the futon which was on the floor. The dogs enjoyed cuddling with us until their bed time, and it was comfortable, though particularly low to get into and out of.


Woke up and made french toast and veggie sausage for breakfast, and cuddled in bed to watch movies. Great lazy Sunday morning before Corky had to go to work. Spent the rest of the day doing laundry, working on the October wedding album, trimming the palm trees, painting my toenails, and vegging out.


More laundry while working. Even though this is a national holiday for many, my company is run by old white guys, so no day off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When I started, we did get the day off in observance. It was removed, and we still had President's Day. Many people complained in an attempt to get an observance day back, but instead, the company also took away President's Day... We still do get the following days off as Holidays: New Year's Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. I can't really complain. I've been there long enough to have those, plus 28 additional days off throughout the year. I could take today off, and have in the past. Right now, I am saving my vacation days for Disneyland and field trips with The Boys. Corky spent the day at home with her roommate and their dog, stopping by before work. Feeling bleh today - have more to do than there is time. Bought a couple of knitting pattern for Corky's grand nephew due in a few months. Went grocery shopping in anticipation for The Boys spending the next week+ at home. Vegged for a bit, had dinner, and knit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Town Shoot Out - Rustic Details

This week's theme is rustic details.

I aimed to shoot our Heritage Park. I've shot there a whole bunch because I find many interesting sections and details every time I stop by. However, life and all it's details got in the way, so I was in a nearby downtown on Saturday, and found some interesting things, which then caused me to kick myself for NOT bringing my camera. These are directly out of my phone:

This building had red brick under plaster painted green, and it's been peeling off for quite a while, but I like the look of the decay.

This electrical panel, covered by wood had been partially removed during a fire on the upper floor. I'm guessing an electrical fire...

Another more eye level view of the first building.

Go see more photos and join us here:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Diane on my mind

Been thinking about Diane lately. Every time something goes on, I think about how I would love to talk to her and get her take on things. And honestly, I miss her laugh, and our hours long conversations. It is almost time for a memorial tattoo, and I know the design I want. I think Sue is going to get one too, so we'll coordinate and get the same tattoo, likely on the same day (her birthday?). Just went back and read my posts from around her death, and miss the connections I made in MI. I'm going to call Liz and Sue and Bill and see how they are all doing. I feel like I need to check in on them.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up - update at end

Things have been particularly stressful and trying in my personal life lately, so this weekend was spent trying to relax.

School district meeting and teaching art. Was exhausted when it was all said and done. The Boys both had a ton of homework coming into the weekend. Spent the afternoon getting them to working on that. Corky was over for dinner and all of us played dominoes until bed time.

Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. That was following sleeping for 11 hours because I clearly needed the rest. Spent time contemplating the greater questions of life, and white privilege. Also spent time getting The Boys to do more homework, corrected the math work and there were some corrections to be made. The Oldest organized his folders and binders and practiced trombone. The Youngest finished his math homework and wrote a book report. He also read half of another book in preparation for another book report. There are 25 of these due in May, and he has had the entire school year to do them, but has not done so.

More laundry and packing The Youngest for 5th grade camp this upcoming week. The Youngest finished the second book, and book report. Felt really meh all morning because I have so much to do and little time to do any of it. Edited more of the recent wedding photos and tried to get the proofs off to the couple, and upload the October wedding photos to the book software. While the newest newlyweds decide on the proofs, I will be completing the wedding book for the October wedding. I need to pick up more jeans for The Oldest, as the majority of the 8 pairs I have already purchased have now been left at the ex's... I love stocking two separate places with double the clothes for The Boys... Corky came over for dinner, but even that was tinged with a pall. She wasn't in a good mood, and I wasn't either. The boys were their usual selves, and she wished they'd spent time outdoors today, while I was happy they finished their work and allowed me to do the photo work I needed. I almost wanted to just hole myself up and finish the photos, but then I feel bad about not putting time toward our relationship, or toward The Boys. Which leaves me now at 10pm working photos, and possibly past midnight, which then places me in a bad mood from lack of sleep... Vicious cycle.

Well, Monday starts an entirely new week, full of potential for fun and engaging relationships. I do worry that Corky is not prepared for joining a life with two adolescent boys, and their neurotic mother. I am their only mother. I make the decisions. I do not want to have to be the intermediary between My Sons, and my girlfriend. The Boys will always come first, and I am too old and tired to play any games around that. I am not going to over analyze this, but it does make me think about how that would all work. I don't expect her to totally roll over and let them run her down, but I also am the last word on anything related to them.

Malaise and ennui. Meh.

Woke up this morning realizing I need to actually talk to Corky about some important things (if we are going to move forward in our relationship). Things like my home being the one place where I want The Boys to feel safe in expressing themselves, good, bad and everything in between. That is my job; to help them navigate their understanding of the world around them, and let them know what is acceptable in public. Our home is not public, and there is a certain level of casualness that goes along with being at home. The Boys are more comfortable with having Corky around, so now the nice and courteous behavior is gone, replaced by what I experience all the time - the crass and smelly behavior of boys. They are still my loving and caring children, but they are also forging their way in the world of "man up" being a thing, and playing up for a laugh.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday My Town Shoot Out - Winter

This week's theme is Winter in our towns:

I went out shooting near sunset looking for this bird of prey, whom I see daily:

 This was facing East on a nearby ridge. The hills are dry and brown due to lack of rainfall:

This was facing West on the same ridge: 

Go see more photos and join us here:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

Love and hug those around you while you can.

So my dad is home (it took about a month of back and forth to the ER). He is feeling better, still tires easily though. I know he isn't in his 40's anymore (he's actually in his 70's), but it is only when illness strikes and the recovery time is longer each time that I can see how much older he is. Been thinking about my parents (and Aunts & Uncles) alot lately. They are the oldest living generation, and one would suppose, the next to go. I am hoping it won't be for a while yet, as I don't think I know enough about life or them or our family. Being with Corky has actually brought me closer to my family. Family is very important to her. Because it is where I came from, what shaped and informed my youth, I should have been much better about family contacts, but I haven't. Partly, I think it is because I have not been in my own self for quite a while, and I suspect they knew just by looking at me that was the case. Coming out to my parents was a good step in being able to be myself. Not that we ever have discussions about sex or sexuality (though if we had, my life would have been very different). I haven't spoken to my Aunts about Corky, but I also hardly ever see them. I am not in contact enough to not make a phone call unusual, and for the purpose of coming out? That would just make it weird. I suppose I could send a postcard or a note, again a bit weird. That reminds me - I need to post this year's Christmas photo in places.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tableau Tuesday - Wedding edition

Shot a wedding last week, and thought I'd put some of those up here:

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week :-)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

The final weekend of vacation, and it was spent nursing Corky back to health, cleaning, laundry and stuff that must be done.

Corky came home sick from work after 3 hours, and I went over to see if she was ok. She was not. She spent the day barfing, while I changed her barf bowl, escorted her to and from the bathroom, washed my hands a ton, and tried to figure out if she could keep water down (she couldn't). It wasn't until later that night when she wasn't barfing anymore and could nap for short periods of time that I went home to take care of things here.

Corky actually was able to eat a bit, but still achy all over, making me think she has the flu, not food poisoning or stomach flu. I took care of stuff at home in the morning and went over for the afternoon and evening. I totally butched it out, loading both the sofa and love seat in my car and hauling them to the dumps. I felt really strong and healthy having done so, but not stupid enough to skip taking ibuprofen afterward...

Took down the outside Christmas Lights and outside decorations in the morning, and finished laundry before heading to Corky's to make  sure she was ok. Hung out for a tiny bit, she needed a nap before heading to work. I ran some errands and spent the afternoon taking down the rest of the Christmas decorations and organizing the man cave / garage. Took off near sunset to photograph for Friday's upcoming theme. Came back after a slight hike and the beginning of a killer sinus headache. The Boys came home at dinner time, and it felt like forever since I'd seen them - It was 5 days, but still.

Also spent time this weekend editing, and getting hooked on a couple of tv shows.

I hope your week is wonderful. I'll be back at work, and The Boys will be back at school.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Friday My Town Shoot Out - The New Year

This week's Theme is The New Year. I shot a number of different things for this week:

 On New Year's Eve, I took out my Jar of Blessings and dumped them all on my bed:

The Cat helped me read through them all to remember all of the good things that happened this year:

New Year's Eve, I made a couple of Walking Fondues to take with me:

New Year's Day called for a hike at Mt. Diablo State Park and Rock City. I think these are Acacia Trees. I love the red bark:
My hike was with Corky, The singularly best thing to happen this last year was meeting her, and letting her into my heart and my life. She fits into all of those empty spaces in my soul, and I love her:

The View from the rocks, looking toward the San Francisco Bay:

 I hope you all have a very happy and healthy year ahead!

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