Monday, July 16, 2018

The husband and I are up near Ottawa visiting my family. Both by brothers and their kids are in town.

Until this trip, I've visited my parents rather tactically-- get in, spend a few days, leave.  I've never explored the place since I moved away 30 years ago.

I didn't have fond memories of my home town. It wasn't a bad place. It wasn't my place. Now that I'm playing tour guide to the husband, I see it through different eyes.

There are many small lakes with small beaches. The water is very swimmable. This is a big contrast t to Seattle where there are few large beaches and the water is on the cold side.

The rivers and the rapids are sight to behold. We spent an afternoon walking along some of the larger rapids.

The local cuisine is based on fries and gravy. There are fry trucks everywhere. Each selling their own variation of poutine. At restaurants you can order sandwiches "hot"-- with gravy. So a hot hamburger sandwich is a hamburger patty, between two slices of bread, smothered with gravy. It will come with a side of fries and gravy of course.

It's good to spend time with my brothers and their wives and kids. When I travel here alone, I feel obligated to spend a lot of time with my parents. There is no break. With the whole family around, it's easy to move from room to room, from conversation to conversation. Spend a little time with some of the wives, then chat with my parents, then chat with a brother, then hang out with the kids who will ignore me why they listen to music or play games.

Both my brothers have lippy know-it-all moments. I wonder where that came from. I wonder how much that is in me.

At the end of the day, I'm really enjoying myself here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Last Sunday was our one year wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we had a great dinner at the Columbia Tower.

Here is to many years to come!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The echo's of the past. I was uninvited to a public event because my ex will be there...

Hi Barry,

When I sent out the invitations to the book event this Saturday, your email happened to still be in my address book. I would actually prefer it if you don't come, as we haven't seen or talked to each other in years. Frankly, I was shocked when you accepted. (But thank you. I do so appreciate the gesture of support and goodwill!) I know RO is hoping to come, as are several of his friends, and I'm afraid things might get really awkward there. And I get nervous enough in front of crowds to be able to handle that additional stress. 

I do hope you understand, and I'm so sorry for the mixup. 

All the best,


Monday, June 25, 2018

Steven is soul searching. He feels his career is at a standstill. He wants to push on and achieve more, yet his thinks his history and his age are pushing against him. I'm by his side through this. I want him to push forward. He will be much happier working, achieving things.

I also want to see him succeed for myself. I soon will be at the age where my career will look like it's standing still relative to all the young whipper snappers. I need to see him pushing on.

We "parked" yesterday. We took a couple of outdoor loungers, some food and the dog, and headed out to a local park. The weather was perfect. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

We spent the weekend on the coast. At LongBearch WA. It was a spur of the moment trip. I loved it. 

I've never been to Long Beach before. That stretch of the coast is farthest away from Seattle. I've aways presumed it was just like the rest of the coast.

It's not. It's far more residential. The beach is miles long. There is a healthy tourist trade there. As well as weekend getaway cottages.

We walked on the beach for hours. Ate ice cream. Had wonderful food.  Watched the sun set.

We drove back and had dinner and card games with a few AA friends. All is well there. Thought the energy was low. Back to work blues?

Sunday evening, Steven's brother called with what he said was a hilarious story.

This brother is 60. He and Steve have long since accepted that their family is complicated. Mother had multiple husbands. Father had multiple wives. 

The brother had his DNA tested to learn more about his family ancestry. Yes, you know where this story is heading.

The results came back confusing. The test said he had much Central and South American DNA. His mother insisted his father was from Czechoslovakia.

So, the brother paid for the extended test. A test that named names. 

The test gave him the names of first cousins in Mexico. 

His mother came clean. Steven and his brother always knew their mother had lovers aside from her husbands. Apparently she had one more than they knew.

What the brother finds most funny is that his mother insists his father is Spanish. She can't even say the word Mexican. He is amused that his mother is uncomfortable having a Mexican American son. Having many kids by many fathers... she has made her peace with that. But his father is Spanish! 

Monday, June 04, 2018

On Thursday we flew from Vegas to Sacramento. Steven's parents are in Sacramento and we spent a few days with them.

Sacramento is a nice place. Not as bad as I had been lead to believe. It is a quiet city. You have to be able to entertain yourself, but it's not a boring city.

Steven's parents are divorced and in their eighties. They divorced 45 years ago and still haven't put the past behind them. Of course this stresses Steven out. He hates being in the middle.

The parents have mobility problems. We can't doo much with them. We can talk for a few hours, but that get's long in the tooth. Steven arranges errands so we can drive back and forth... buy donuts before breakfast, drop off a donut at dad's and chat a bit. Drive to mom's and drop off so more donuts. Have a full breakfast at mom's. Chat a bit. Drive back to dad's for lunch. And so on.

In July it's my turn. We are flying up to Ontario to visit my family. I'm trying to look through that experience with Steven's eyes.

More quotes from friends that I wish to remember...

From one older gay brother to another...
"That's very creative. Very Gay. You are femming up nicely in your old age. I was really worried for a while. Too butch."

From my mother in law...
"I may ask you too many questions. I am just so curious. I have friends who call me the lady with 100 questions. I just keep asking and asking. I really like to learn about people. Just last week and friend said "'those questions... how do you come up with them... they are so incisive!'"

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

We are here for a wedding-- Steven's cousins. They are a nice couple. Very fun loving and sane at the same time. She has said a few things that worry me-- she has had cancer three times. There is some sort of little bump on her kidney that she's not dealing with.

Of course, no matter where we go, we meet Steven's old friends. Not related to the wedding, an old coworker just happens to be in Vegas. The sister of a good friend of his just happens to be in Vegas.

A grade school friend of Steven's happened to be in Vegas. We had a short chat with her in the high roller lounge...

"I only use the high-roller area. I don't gamble with the general public."

"My husband is flying to Africa for three weeks. He is going to hunt. I'm not going with him. It's too dangerous for blond haired, blue eyed woman."

I try to not judge people. Sometimes people paint such vivid pictures of themselves in so few words that one can't help but form conclusions.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My friend Tommy seams to be going through something deep. I wish him well.

Steven and I are in Vegas for a few days. We are here for his cousin's wedding. After Vegas we are flying over to Sacramento to visit his parents.

Vegas is fun. Action packed. I think Steven and his brother love the energy, the people, the shows.

I enjoy Vegas very much, but I also need quiet time.

Much of Vegas is made to encourage to drink, to shop, to eat, to spend money. Our hotels rooms are nice. But not so nice that you'd want to lounge around in them for an evening. Even the air is a little stale. I don't know if all that was intentional, but I've had this same experience before.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

When we turn our back, the dog has it's own separate life. When we look at her, when we are engaged with her, then she is very attentive. It's different when we turn around.

When we go to bed, she'll be curled up in her bed. When we wake up, she'll be curled up in her bed, but things will have changed. She'll have routed through the garbage. The cat food bowl will be scrupulously licked clean.

I wonder what she does when we leave her alone all day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

As I grow older, I'm still trying to understand my foibles. I'm mostly introverted, except…

I love having dinners with friends. I love cooking for friends. If I'm alone, I'll reheat leftovers. Friends—steak with a sauce that I've spent hour preparing. Home baked bread. The list goes on.

I love sleeping with Steven.

I like spending a few hours alone in the morning.

I enjoy hiking and running alone.

I like to spend evenings with Steven, and with Friends.

Sometimes I think I want to go on a long backpacking trip all by myself. Maybe I'll do that, just to see when I miss people the most.





Monday, May 14, 2018

Work. Home. Busyness.

Steven is away for a few days for work. That gives me some down time and it makes me the only one responsible for the dog. She is getting over diareaha, so there is that to keep in mind.

Work is challenging right now. The service my team provides is growing like crazy. Not all of my team members are up to that challenge. They are good people, but the demands have changed and they need to changte with it.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the right leader for them. Work is stressful. I try to tackle it with energy and enthusiasm, but sometimes people think I am too optomistic. 

Still, I will push on.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The weather has been gorgeous this weekend. If this continues, this summer will be a hot one.

Mothers day today. I called mom. She didn't want to talk much. I couldn't tell if something was on her mind, or if this was a further symptom of her memory failure— it's difficult to talk about the week if you don't remember the week. 

I still enjoy talking to her. 

We fly up in July to visit her. 

Happy Mother's Day. 

Monday, May 07, 2018

A townhouse across the street is up for sale for $950,000.00. This has got us talking about our long term plans. 

We had a good talk about our townhouse. The townhouse is nice in many ways, but great in none. The neighborhood is nice. The mortgage is affordable. The space is nice, though cramped in places. Close to shopping. Close to parks. A reasonable commute to work. A nice coffee shop is next door.

We'd like a back yard. A place to hang out. A place to put the dog so we don't have to walk her so often. We'd like a little more space to throw larger dinner parties. Those are tall orders around here. We are looking at $300,000 more than this townhouse to buy such a place.

$300,000 more is a lot. We could retire a few years early with that. We could buy a vacation property.

So we are going to live with the townhouse. Maybe do it up a little. Better closets. Better furniture. Did I mention that the townhouse is very nice?

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Two weeks ago in Toronto there was a van attack. A man drove a van into a crowd and killed 10 people.

My friends G&J live 3 blocks away from it. Their son was across the street from the attack. He was at a fast food restaurant. His back was to the window. He didn't see the van attack. He did see the aftermath.

He called G&J to tell them of the attack. G asked him to leave immediately. He did so.

The place was very locked down for over a week. One interesting twist-- the police brought many therapy dogs there. Those going to see the scene of the attack were greeted by cute friendly dogs.