Monday, September 12, 2011

Some perils of aging...

So, Gramma is cranky at a couple things today, one of which I suppose is, in the great scheme of things, unavoidable. The other is just the system doing its lovely job of suppressing the effusiveness of small boys.

So. Perimenopause. According to the interwebs, this is the period (HAHA) of years (!!!!) preceding menopause. I'm there, folks. I'm there. Ugh. This is not fun! THIS part could go for 10-15 years?! Good grief!!! I'm already 45!!! How the fuck long am I supposed to deal with this crap?! And I have no intention of using the hormone shit. I'm actually looking forward to not having a period anymore. Why in fuck would I want to take shit that not only increases my risk of breast cancer, but keeps the blood flowin'? No fucking thank you!!!

But let me tell you... this is getting annoying... the damn periods are getting heavier and longer. LONGER!! Like, for instance, this month's super-fun time. First day of was last week Monday. Morning. Early. It is now this week Monday. Though not exactly doing what one could call 'flowing', little lovely watery bits of leaking are most certainly still going on. Count 'em folks... This puts me on day fucking EIGHT!!! What. The. Fuck. Seriously.

In other news, just saw a post from my daughter... apparently a quote from someone at school... "Your son (that would be MY grandson) is showing early signs of ADHD. Maybe a physician could help?" Okay. Saw that one coming. He is indeed a high-energy kid. He's a 5 year old boy! He's fucking supposed to be a high energy kid!!! Yeah, he's not the best listener, but ADHD?! Ummmm... no. There's nothing hyperactive about his energy level, and there's nothing wrong with his attention span. He's not easily distracted. If anything, he's the opposite! He's funny, charming, empathetic... and very very focused. He's definitely on his own agenda. He has to understand the 'Why' of a request, the reason something needs to be done. It needs to make sense TO HIM. Ohmigosh. Independent thought?! From a kindergartener!? We better drug that right out of his system NOW!!!

Ugh. I really hate public school.
And perimenopause.
They both make me extra cranky.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Verrrr verrrr sleeeeeepy

Today, Gramma is cranky because she is tired.

Seriously. Ugh. It's 8:43 Pacific Time, and I've been awake for almost 6 hours. It was effing HOT yesterday, and I kept sticking to myself and the bed and everything else I touched (Hubby) all night. And not sicking in a nice, fun way. Not that there is a nice, fun way to stick to oneself or one's partner when it is so hot that just getting within 6 inches of another mammal creates heat waves. Hubby wasn't sleeping well either, so we both just kind of moved around a lot, trying to gain purchase on a breeze from the fan and some fucking oxygen.

By the time it cooled off, my brain just wouldn't go for any more sleep. Now, on any fairly normal given day, this wouldn't be too much of a pain in the ass, as I generally could just plop myself down at some point in the day to nap, or run a nice tepid tubby. But today I must actually be fairly perky - there are several location that want people to ACTUALLY SHOW UP to apply for jobs! Holy crap! So, I gotta get all spiffed up (inasmuch as I am capable at any time to do so) and go trek around town some via le bus and see if I can't get meself some gainful employment so's that I can not feel so unproductive! Not to mention, a bit o' cash never hurt nobody, right? Also a couple really good, actual, solid leads on some online income, so that is helpful and good.

I actually am also cranky that I didn't get to see the Republicans go at one another last night. Haven't found my glasses yet today, so I haven't indulged in much reading yet. I hope there's some good video! I needed a good laugh, and would have enjoyed listening to Bachman and Perry sound like dumbasses. Some of today's mini-headlines definitely have me intrigued... somebody, I think it said it was Perry, compared people who eschew climate change science to Galileo? Kinda confused... I'm gonna have to look that one up.

Okay. Cranky Gramma has now sucked down enough coffee to see fairly straight. I shall thusly go forth to dishes doing, breakfast making, shower taking, dog emptying/filling, and, eventually, job applying foring.

Ya'll have a great day! Enjoy the last bits o' summer. Fourteen days left...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer adventure

So, folks. Long time no post. It's been an interesting summer!
When last we met, we were about to embark on a move to Missoula, MT in our little RV. And we did! We split from Grand Rapids on May 5, and headed north to go over the big blue bridge, across the U.P. and over the top portion of the country. The first night we made it as far as Comstock Park (about 4 miles - LOL) because of our late start and other random errands, and then it got dark. Jim's beginning cataracts don't allow for night driving anymore, and no way in hell was I driving that thing.
Next day, we did in fact head north, made a good distance, and had a lovely time!

Goodbye, Mitten of Michigan! 
Lake Michigan from the Mackinaw Bridge

Brief leg-stretching on the north shore of Lake Michigan
In Wisconsin, south shore of Lake Superior

Connor with his guys...
Diggin' the RV
Althea and her load

So, that was the first day or so. We lunched by Lake Superior, Connor ran about and had a good ol' time. Rilo was kinda freaked out by the whole thing, and Stanley-the-Cat, well, let's just say he was still less than thrilled about the whole being-in-a-box-in-a-moving-vehicle deal. He was also unamused by his harness and leash. Unlike the rest of us! LOL!

One of the most interesting things, I thought, was how North Dakota is NOT fucking flat!! Who knew? It's not exactly hilly per se, but man there is some serious elevation gain in that state! The oil fields were amazing to see. Cities of campers and RVs, the only place we encountered where one couldn't park an RV overnight in a WalMart parking lot. Just so many people flocking there for the work on the oilfields, there was no possible way to accommodate them all, so WalMart there had to disallow the overnight thing. Muddy, rainy, miserable, thousands of people working those jobs, driving giant new trucks, wearing denim or Carhartt overalls covered in this gray, icky-sticky mud. Yikes!!!

We got into Montana, spent a night in Great Falls, then took Roger's Pass over the Continental Divide. On the way up, we saw a wolverine waddle across the road, and it proved to be the first in a plethora of awesome and stunning wildlife sightings. Made it over the pass no problem, despite Jim's misgivings. Ha! I knew it'd be just fine. I swear, the man is not happy if he has nothing to worry about! Stopped in Lincoln for a few minutes, got gas, Connor got a Sponge Bob ice cream for breakfast (this is how to make and almost-five-year-old reeeeaaaaalllllly happy), and we headed on into Missoula. Gorgeous drive! Absolutely love that country! The mountainy rivers, the pine trees... god, I was totally swooning over the scent of pines on the air during our stop! Kept the windows down the whole way in, and just basked. I LOVE the Rockies beyond words.

We got into Missoula on a Wednesday. We hung out at the Dragon Playground, because Connor loves that place! We rode the carousel, we just... hung out and enjoyed for a couple days. Then Cassady and Andy came up to Missoula from California, and picked Connor up on his birthday. 

Oh boy! Icky cupcakes with Spiderman rings! 5 year old heaven!

Carousel ride with Mommy and Gramma
The whole fam damily

And then Connor went to California to live with Mommy and Andy, and Gramma and Papa got to learn how to be sans kid. Sooooo....

We drank some good beers.
We went to Lolo Hot Springs, and soaked in the awesome water.

Across from our camp

Doggie under the picnic table

Mah shadow at the edge of Lolo Creek

And there's the creek running right behind Athea

Sooooo beautiful!

Then we went meandering about...
This is a trek to and around Flathead Lake. Man, it is so beautiful up there! The Mission Range? Be still my heart.

We spent a few days up there. Fished, hiked, sat at water's edge and listened. I love the silence of the woods, the breeze through the pines, the call of water birds in the early hours, the scent of pine, an unbelievable (for one from the city, who has had opportunity to forget) blanket of brilliant stars. 

We wandered on from here, and spent a couple days at Swan Lake.

Yeah, I really like Montana a lot. I miss Montana a lot!
Then we went and just hung around Missoula for a bit, which was lovely. I like that city. There are pretty rainbows against dark gray skies.

So anyway, we had this lovely summer adventure. But, well, we kinda freaked out, didn't stay pat and really give it a solid chance to see what we could make happen. And we pointed the buggy west again, and landed in Portland. 
Now, for a big-ass city,  Portland is pretty damn nice. Lots of trees, big parks, good coffee and food and beer. But, it's a big-ass city. So it is dirty and noisy. And crowded. We scored a decent little apartment in a pretty cool neighborhood, but it is again the hustle, and the consumption, and the go-go-go get-have-take mentality that makes me feel all yucky inside. The wealth disparity is so glaringly apparent. Lamborghinis driving through neighborhoods while people sleep in bushes with their shopping carts bicycle-locked to parking regulation signs. These are the things that make me cranky. Being in the midst of this makes me feel a deep sense of anomie, a marginalization that I did not feel in Montana. That I do not feel among the trees and birds. The air is often fairly thick, though not as much so as the midwest. There are no thunder storms. Few stars are visible. And even walking in a beautiful wooded 5000+ acre park includes freeway noise. There is no quiet place, no respite. There are beautiful places, though! 

There are lovely walking paths, and the International Rose Test Garden is here. Wow is that something to see!

And, of course, on clear days, gorgeous views of Mount Hood. But still, really, one ginormous volcano does not equal the Rocky Mountains. Not by a long shot.

So, I think we've had an amazing summer! Lovely adventures, great food, some interesting travels. But I think that, when all is said and done, Montana was the right call. We needed this interlude to really get clarity on it, and remember the why of the move itself.  So, as the job search (for me) continues, along with the projects I am concocting for some income-generation, it is with renewed motivation. Out of the city, and back to the woods. It was right, it was good, I felt like I belonged there. With the eagles and the cougars and the mountain lakes and rivers. I felt alive and at home as I've not felt in years, and I feel its loss fairly acutely. Meanwhile, though, me and Portland will continue on in our civil interactions, and I'll take away lessons from this city as I have from everywhere I've been. I'll soak up the sun, not worry about the coming rain, and take life as it comes - day by day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Almost there...

So, I am annoyed that I can't find my camera, as there are numerous things I'd like to post photos of! Argh! But, so goes the process of moving, right? Right.
Today, garage sale.
Tomorrow, Connor-party in the morning, though I've heard from only 2 families, one will be there, one might send her kid with her husband... 20 approximately families at the preschool. E-mail notification, and public notice in the classroom. Last year, 2 kids came. This year, one of those kids is in Florida. My boy can haz nice party someday? With friends come? Yes? We've only been in this school for 2 and a half years... great school, but not so social of parenty peoples.
Also tomorrow, our Drink Beer and Take Our Shit Party! Hopefully a houseful of the folks we like to see, and a house liberated from more stuff by Sunday.
Also tomorrow, Jorma's band at the park. They're playing at a union rally thingy. So, we'll go to that too! Kind of a busy day of rest. LOL
Monday, we get whatever is left over out the door and into the garage.
Tuesday, the Goodwill truck comes to get it!

Somewhere in all this, our rebuilt carburetor will get put back on the RV, we'll get the hitch and the trailer and tow lights, the water line, and get the final boxes gone through and the boxes that are going on the trailer packed.

Phew! Not so much. HAH!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

This Moment...

A moment from this week, to remember, to hold onto, to sink my teeth into...

I am loved by a little boy

Thursday, April 7, 2011

the Circle comes back around...

Last week I put a ring on a man's hand. He put a ring on mine. Sitting in the car outside the head shop, my husband and I discovered that $15.00 rings, and a heart connection can make for a very emotional recomittment to one another.

We've had some hard years here. We've nearly spun apart/imploded multiple times. Having teenagers is really fucking hard. Being in work you hate, and in a school that tells you you're full of shit for your ideas, and discovering just how fucked up a family can be can really make a person miserable. When you have two partners in this kind of emotional place together, and they have completely different coping mechanisms, shit sucks. A lot.

But we kept muddling. We didn't throw in the towel, and then as we went through other important and difficult things... not the least of which was a serious illness... a new perspective emerged. As we got through this long and fairly horrid winter, some things came clear for me. Most importantly, what I value in life, who I want to be, how I want to live. I want to live in love. I want to have fun, I want to have friends, I want to be frivolous and spontaneous. Things don't matter at all. My people matter. Right now, this man and this boy with home I share this space.

 Badlands, May 2009

I determined that through all the shit, I had pretty much shut down, become isolated and resentful, and felt very, very alone. I've become quite untrusting, scared of reaching out to make friends. I just feel so different from the sort-of peers I kind of have. But I kept on swimming, ya know? But what of my husband? He was having a completely horrid time of things too! I got so stuck in how put-upon I was, how stressed and over-extended I was, and how he wasn't sucking it up and doing more was sooooo unfair, that I just got disconnected and emotionally shut down. That is what I needed to do to get through the ongoing crises that were my daily everydays. But I forgot a major thing; I forgot to give. I mean, to REALLY give. I was giving, and that was all I was doing, but I wasn't giving to my partner. I was expecting. I never really gave a thought to where he was emotionally in this whole mess. Even though I've known him now for nearly 29 years, and I know know know how emotional he is, and how he processes, I was angry with him for being, well, himself. And in my anger, I left him kind of out to dry. I wasn't his shoulder, anymore than he was mine, but see, the thing is, he needs a shoulder before he can be one. I hold together in the crisis, and come apart after. He falls apart in the midst of, and bucks up once it's dealt with. I expected him to be right there in the thick of everything with me. But I know he can't do that. It was unfair of me.

As I went through this icky medical crap over the winter, and felt like shit, and was pretty fucking useless, he was there. He fed me, he loved me, he took care of the boy and the house. He was my friend from back when I was a girl, that friend that was there in a heartbeat when I needed him. And I realized just how much this man means to me. I totally got just how empty my life would be without him. He's been my rock for 29 fucking years. There's no one on this planet that knows as much of ME as he does. And yet, he loves me. Completely, and for just exactly who I am. No bullshit. No filters. He knows the rawest, most true me. The worst parts of my history. And yet... he loves me.
Goat Rock Beach, May 2009
As I found myself at this epiphany of the depths of my love for my husband, and the understanding that I'd let him down as surely as I'd felt let down myself, my heart just flooded open. All the ... whatevers ... that had built up; I dunno... protection? Coping? Distance? they just - POOF   All gone. I wanted to give. And so, give I did. It feels so very good! And in my giving, he has opened his heart again too, and he gives, and we are... well... we are partners again.

I'm all giddy in love again! I feel as though we are treading rather too close to barfingly cute for people of our age, but who gives a good goddamn?! We can't keep our hands off each other, we once again call each other by Jim Dear and Darling, and we, losers of wedding rings some 10 years past, bought rings for each other. Slim, sterling bands, bought at the head shop. Somehow completely appropriate for a couple who married on Hippie Hill.

November 8, 1988

May, 2009... same spot!
Then, we got in the car, parked on the curb there on West Leonard, Connor buckled securely in his seat, so very curious about what Gramma and Papa were up to. Jim found the smaller ring, and put it on my finger. The finger that's been wedding-band-free for 10 years, and ring-free for 2, and he said, "With this ring, I thee wed. Again." And I put the larger band on his wedding-band-free for 10 years finger, and repeated his words.

And we meant them. With even more of our hearts than we meant them almost 23 years ago. We've been together longer than we've been not-together. We share children and a grandchild, and a lifetime of memories and history. The feeling - well, I can't even articulate the feeling. Rushes of gratitude, and love, and security, and safety, and just... tingly goodness! It really is an amazing thing, what the sight of a band on the third finger of your left hand, and the hand of your partner, does for one emotionally. A beautiful thing. An incredibly, powerfully meaningful thing. My oldest, dearest, truest friend. My partner. Love of my life. My Husband.

April 7, 2010

Weird as it is, this is probably the best ring I've ever had.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aaaaaand... a bump in the road

That new drivetrain? The one that came out of the same vehicle we have basically? Yeah. Won't fit. The transmission is 3 inches longer, and the bolt pattern is different. Jim took copious pictures, and took those with him when he went to look at the drivetrain, to guard against just such an event. But, there you have it. When they're sitting side by side, and a guy has a tape measure in hand, things are much more tangible.

Now, interestingly enough, it seems that getting this old thing, and following the signs to the parts to get it put together has led us to a much better vehicle.
Jim picked up an engine stand Thursday from a guy close by us. He and his fiance are selling everything and moving to Arizona. He's got a Chevy RV sitting in the yard. It belonged to his parents, it's in great shape, 75,000 original miles, and he wants $1800 for it. We're going to put this RV we have up for sale, along with the engine and transmission, and buy that one.
So, while Jim was kind of feeling defeated and frustrated by this turn of events, it occurred to us that, well, if he hadn't gone to get the stand, he wouldn't have met this guy, or found this vehicle. It's not on craigslist, it doesn't have a For Sale sign, nothing. We literally wouldn't have ever found it if we hadn't gotten the one we have. So, this was all maybe just a test to see how dedicated we are to this whole notion. I guess we pass muster!

In other news...
An entire sweater for a tall scrawny young man is almost done. I think it's long enough finally. We'll see I guess. I know the arm is long enough, because it's long enough for his dad. I've lengthened the body twice now. It's 24 inches from the back of the neck to the hem. I'll have to go corner him and shove it over his head again.

I've finished a fun gift for a lovely young woman who will be all growed up offishul-like sometime in the next week or so here. She's about to move into a little house with her adored boyfriend, so I thought a fun wallhanging would be appreciated. I hope Andy likes unicorns.

I'm going to have to come up with a couple more things though. 21 is kind of a significant birthday from what I'm told. And of course she specifically requested Bar Money. How's $21 bucks sound, kid? HA! Like she's going to have to buy her own drinks... I guess point more being she can.

Spring! Happy Equinox out there, folks! Sadly, I missed the supermoon last night, but man oh man! Spring has come to western Michigan! It is raining cats and dogs today, all the snow will be washed away by morning, and there are crocuses blooming! Rilo got out for the first loooong walk this past week, and was that little doggie-girl ever excited to see her leash! Thought she might take the whole door down, she was in such a hurry!

Connor continues to do wild and woolly things, never ceasing to amaze. He got new shoes this week, as it is now sneaker weather again. Fastest shoe shopping trip evah! Went to Target, he spotted 'THE shoes' immediately; Spiderman, with light-up webs on the side! We discovered that he wears a size 12 (!) now, which means he got them on the big guy side of the aisle, rather than the little guy side. This was Tuesday. Wednesday morning he leapt from bed, called out, "C'mon, Gramma! Let's get me to school!" He was dressed and downstairs, in those shoes, before I was fully conscious. Then, of all crazy, unexpected things, he is brushing his own hair!! Big guy shoes turned him into a really big guy, at least for one morning. LOL! He was earnin' some preschool street cred with those babies, lemme tell you! Huh-larious!!! Another awesome step forward is his interest and ability to make his own fruit salad. Cuttin' up strawberries and bananas... he was so impressed to show that skill off to Ellie and Amber, young lady friends of 6 and almost 8 who came to dinner last night. While waiting for the lame grown-ups to quit yakking and order some pizza already! he proudly cut a lovely bowl of strawberries for each of them. What a nifty guy! Now, if he'd just stop filling up my camera memory with pictures of his butt...

 Crafty goodness continues unabated. Working on some flowers, crocheted from various and sundry material. I like ribbon! It is shiny, and it doesn't split when crocheting! But... it comes in such little spools! I have a ribbon sunflower almost done, but no more bright yellow. I'm out, and, sadly JoAnn is out too. I did get the center completed, so yay for that!!

Maybe soon... I guess I'll have to make do with my yarns. Rough life. I know, I know. And the daffodil and columbine I made with yarn are so very, very awesome! No pics of those yet...

In the next weeks, I'm going to be doing some writing/processing of the last few years of our lives here. I've had some epiphanies about a bunch of stuff, and I need to get it down and out. Along with that, I'll be writing more about the crafting, getting my etsy shop, zoesdyedreams, up and running, and continuing to chronicle the saga of the RV. My goal is to take an hour a couple days a week, and focus on one area. So, if you wanna come along, I'd love the company!

Peace out there, ya'll.