Monday, September 18, 2017

Two friends of ours, Allen & Evan won a weekends stay at a resort on Lake Chelan.  They invited us along.
Lake Chelan is a dammed lake in the middle of the desert. In summer it's always sunny and warm. We had a lovely weekend.
We rented a boat for a few hours. Steven wants to own a boat. I'm fine renting. Boats cost thousands of dollars a year, so spending a few hundred to rent every now and then is well worth the trade.
We toured the lake, swam an inner tubed.  
In the evening we had dinner with Matt. I haven't seen Matt in years. We lost touch because he and my ex fought. That's become a pattern in my life—losing touch with friends because my ex and they couldn't get along.
Anyways, it was great to catch up with Matt and his new husband. Well. They've been together for 8 years now, so 'new' isn't the right word.
We headed back after lunch on Sunday. As we crossed the mountains, as if on queue, the rain started up again. We haven't had rain in months, so I'm actually enjoying it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma gives us much to watch.  Just a little over a week ago we were in St. Martaan, Puerto Rico & Ft Lauderdale. Our friends there are all OK.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We've been on a whirl wind trip to Florida, a cruise on the eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico & Ottawa. Lots to write, though it's long and rambling.

We booked the Caribbean cruise a long time ago. A friend is a cruise specialist for a travel agency. She arranged a large and inexpensive cruise for many of her old friends, Steven & I included. We booked with her and paid the bill months ago.

But my parents… It turned out the last weekend of the cruise was the same weekend as my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Steven and I scrambled. We figured out how to leave the cruise early and fly up to my parents home town. So much for a cheap summer cruise.

We flew down to Florida a day early and spent it with an old friend of Steven's. It was a good time, It rained a lot and hard—side effect of Hurricane Harvey. We took a water taxi tour of the water front. Did a little shopping. Toured some art galleries including one that sold Warhol's and Dali's. Yours for $60,000.00

Cruise was next day. It was great to meet up with all my old friends. I don't get to spend enough time with them. So many of them have kids now that are in their late teens. I'm not yet used to seeing someone grow up. It makes me feel a little old.

Cruise was fun. When we were outside, the heat and humidity were intense. The ship did a good job of avoiding the rain. Sometimes you could see the showers a mile or so away from the ship.

Steven and I intentionally took it easy. Sleeping in. Napping in the afternoon. Not doing too much. It was great to stop and rest.

I placed 2nd in a big "Name that tune" competition on the ship. It was fun. For about a day afterwards, I was recognized by strangers. The truth is I got lucky. All the songs that I had to name just happened to be songs that I knew. There were many other competitors who were better than me who just got more difficult songs.

I lost in a tie breaker round where I needed to know lyrics. I didn't know the lyrics to "In the Navy" I only knew the course.

Steven and I stayed on board at the first port of call, rather than touring the island. We were rewarded with peace and quiet. The whole pool deck only had about a dozen people. We could use the waterslides with no line. No crowds in any of the pools.

We got off in Puerto Rico. We spent a day relaxing at the hotel. Again the heat and humidity were intense. We spent the evening with another friend of Steven's. Steven has friends everywhere.

The friend gave us a great tour of San Juan then took us out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant.

Thursday morning we flew up to Ottawa.

At the airport, when they announced early boarding for the elderly, a third of the passengers got up and got in line.

It was a long journey to my parents place. After the flight, there were two hour of driving. Fortunately, when we checked into the hotel, the bed was *very* nice.

Next day, we went to my parents farm. Steven got a tour of the farm on a four wheeler. I think he enjoyed that a lot. Usually I travel to the farm for Christmas, when it's cold and snowy.  In the summer it's green and pastoral. I miss that.

We spent some of the afternoon in Pembroke where a local fiddling completion was going on. It was fun to see all the fiddling and fiddlers.

The next day was the main event—my parents 50th wedding anniversary. There where many guests. I was a little nervous about how to introduce Steven and how he would be received. Steven understands that my home town is very conservative, but he is not one to stay quiet if he is disrespected.

There were no problems. My brothers introduced Steven as my husband. At one point, just after meeting Steven, a cousin shouted over the room to her husband "This is Steven… Barry's Husband!"

We got many congratulations for getting married. Much of the family knew we were married though facebook, gossip, or from my parents. Yes my parents—they told people why they flew up to Seattle last July.

Back to the main event. It went very well. One of the Church ladies helped us stay organized and push things forward. We owe her a big thanks.

Everyone had a good time. Steven put on a slide show with many old pictures from my parents. It was wonderful. It made them cry. Thank you Steven!

We had dinner. We toasted them. It was great.

Next morning we went to Church. The minister was a guest minister. At one point in the sermon he admonished "Those people who have a lifestyle, who have parades for that lifestyle." He stopped there. Later Steven said he would have walked out of the Minister had pushed it further.

We left for Ottawa after Church. I gave Steven a quick tour around the Parliament buildings He was suitable impressed. The buildings are old and well maintained.

Early in the morning we flew back to Seattle.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

We are away in the carribean. It's beautiful, hot and humid. Hurricane Harvey has impacted much of a other Texas. Steven has friends there. They are OK. 

More in a bit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A co worker took some eclipse photos. We had a 92% eclipse.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse was today. This morning at work there was a small gathering of folks taking pictures or using various eclipses glasses to watch. All fun

Over the weekend we went to an AA retreat. It was at a lodge on a nearby mountain. Most of the point of the retreat was to get AA members to build relationships. To be friends with each other. To work on being friends.

I'm not a member of AA, but Steven is. In fact, Steven was one of the organizers. I fit in well. Most of the sober men there now have there heads screwed properly, so this wasn't difficult. There were a few guys there who were a bit slow or forgetful. Part of the challenge was learning how to help these people along.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Today's weather, 86F and smoke...

Thursday, August 03, 2017


We are having a hot spell here in the Pacific North West. That, coupled with large forest fires east of the mountains has made the air unusually hazy and heavy. It's like breathing in a traffic jam. I take the clear air around here for granted.
I enjoy the hot weather, though it does slow me down. I am most energized with the temperature is in the high sixties. Steven doesn't like heat. It makes him sweat a lot. It makes him irritable. In the past, I've noticed my brother has the same problem. Heat makes him sick. I guess we are all true Northerners.  
Even when I dream of retiring to the beach, the beach is an Oregon beach that is always cool.
Steven and I have been talking about retirement. We have much saving and planning to do. Where and how do we want to live?
Steven and I had dinner with Clem & Bates. Clem recently retired. Bates is still working. Bates strongly recommends that Steven and I retire together. Clem's freedom and Bates obligations are causing stress in their relationship. It's not that Bates is jealous of Clem's freedom.  It's the other way around. Clem has lost some of the purpose in his life. He doesn't know how to manage so much free time. Clem hates being alone during the day when Bates is away at work. He cleans way too much because he doesn't know what else to do.  Then he develops some resentments that Bates isn't cleaning as much.
Clem has had a succession of part time jobs that he quits after a week or two because he doesn't enjoy them. He has being going out to the clubs to party more. He recognizes that that is a dead end. 
Steven and I are watching them and trying  to learn. I'm sure they will work out their issues. They give us much to think about. Both Clem & Bates have good pensions to fund their retirements. Steven and I have always been professionals who will need to depend on savings. How much will we need? How do we make that happen? We both live in industries where there are very few people who are older than 55. What if we must work into our 60s?
We shall work it out and I may be over analyzing things.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Twenty Years.

I've now been in Seattle for twenty years. Me and a few coworkers, who are also at the same company for twenty years, all celebrated this at a nice local Steak House with our manager and our spouses.

One guy got a bit too drunk and ended up apologizing the next day. Nothing major.





My division had a BBQ on Friday. It's a wonderful annual tradition. For a few weeks before this BBQ, a coworker, Kristopher, has been trying to convince Andrew to bring goat to the BBQ. Apparently back at Andrew's parents home, they often have goat at BBQs.

So Andrew brought goat. Fresh from the butcher. He also brought along the goat's head.

There were mixed reactions. Some people were repulsed by the goat. Some people wanted to taste grilled goat, but couldn't get over the head. Some people were really into the goat. They had grilled goat liver.

Andrew brought the goat head home to make goat head cheese.

I told Steven this story. He was disgusted by it. He showed me YouTube videos of baby goats playfully prancing around and asked "How could you eat that!" He became vegetarian for about 10 minutes.




Monday, July 17, 2017

We took the weekend off. Slept in. Afternoon naps. Some hiking. Watched some movies. Had dinner with a neighbor.

Don is one of our neighbors. We met him walking dogs. Recently he had to put his dog down. The dog was an old fella who finally met his time.

We have dinner with Don every few months. Don can be quirky and a little of him goes a long way. Though Sundays dinner with him was very pleasant.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The wedding is over. The guests have returned home. Life returns to normal, but I'm still basking the glow.

We rented a block of rooms at a local hotel to ensure our guests would all be close at hand of sight seeing and for the wedding. We also wanted to avoid choosing which family got to stay in our house, and which had to stay elsewhere.

My parents arrived Wednesday evening and we brought them to their room. My mom looked around and become very uneasy. The room was on the 19th floor. That made her very uncomfortable. We called to the front desk. They found another room on the 12th floor. We went down there. Then mom she said she was expecting and looking forward to staying with Steven and I. And it was very disappointing for her to stay in a hotel. We talked about it for a bit and decided that my mom and dad could stay at our house.

The above makes my mother sound very manipulative. That's not true. Mom has dementia. She routinely forgets where she is. Emotional surprises are very confusing to her.

Since where I'm living now is not where she remembers where I lived, we were worried that my new house would also be a shock to her.

Originally, we thought this would put a few kinks in our plans since we would now need to taxi mom and dad around. Fortunately, my friends C2 & J&G helped out there. Over the next few days C2 would spend a lot of time with my parents making sure they got to the right place.

Dad is good with watching over her and catching her up when she gets confused. It seems that she blanks out and then tries to figure out where she is from what's going on around her.  A few times mom thought she was elsewhere. Usually in Ottawa. She would see that she was in a city. The nearest city to her home is Ottawa, so she'd conclude Ottawa was where she was. We'd gently remind her that she was in Seattle for my wedding. The light would come on in her head.

We had to watch diligently when she went to the bathroom. It would be very bad if she forgot where she was with none of us around.

Thursday morning my friends G&J arrived as well as some of Steven's family. Steven and I separated for the afternoon while Steven caught up with his family. I took G&J and my parents sight seeing. We visited a few local parks to catch the views and spend some time in the sun-- the weather was perfect.

We caught up for drinks and dinner at a bar called the Nest which is on the top of a local hotel. More gorgeous views.

Friday we took it a bit easier. I wanted to make sure that mom and dad could have a nap-- mom being less prone to forgetfulness when she is well rested. We toured Theo's chocolate. Dad really enjoyed that as he is a chocolate lover.

You get to eat a lot of good chocolate on Theo's Chocolate tour. I recommend it for that.

Friday evening was a dinner for the out-of-towners. This was a good dinner hosted by one of Steven's oldest friends. I am very grateful to her for this. About 20 people where there, and she paid for our dinner and drinks.

The event was a bit of a high school reunion of Steven as half a dozen of his old high school friends attended.

Saturday was show time. Steven and I slept it. G&J dropped by for breakfast.

Steven's brother and another friend took care of flowers and some of setup.

The wedding was a blur. We arrived at the venue, at about 3pm and helped with setup. The venue is an extra large suite at a hotel. so at about 4pm Steven and I went to the bedroom and dressed for the wedding. We both wore tuxedoes and bow ties. It was fun.

Guests started arriving at about 6pm. The ceremony started around 7pm. It went well. We both cried a little as we recited our vows. It was very emotional. Joyous. I saw friends there I haven't seen it years.

Catering left around 11:00pm. The last of the guests by 11:30. Steven and I collapsed in bed from exhaustion by midnight.

We woke up filling great. I know it's mushy, but I smile every time I call Steven "Husband"

We met the guests for a going away brunch and said our good buys.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The last few days have been a blur. So many guests, old friends and new. Its all going well.

The wedding is in a few hours. I'm stealing a few minutes to write this down. Will write much more in a day or.two.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The organizing is winding down. Soon the execution begins.

Guests arrive Wednesday to Friday. We've arranged a hotel, itinerary and gift bags.

Till now we've kept our relationship and wedding off of RO's radar-- no Facebook posts,  We talked about that and decided to "come out." RO casts too much of a shadow over us. It's been two and a half years since I ended my relationship with RO. It's time to move on.  So Steven and I posted about our wedding on Facebook.

We talked with C2 about it. He agrees that we that we shouldn't feel the need to hide our relationship. He also asked us to get security at the wedding. There is a 95% chance that nothing will happen. But you never know...

Steven is much more eloquent that I am. The facebook post is so sweet. His vows are nice. I can learn  lots from him.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The wedding is July 8.

The wedding logo stuff is arriving. We have pillows, thank you notes, pens and coasters. I've also seen napkins with the logo. I don't know where those have gone.

Steven loves this stuff. He does this type of event planning for work, so he knows how to get it done. I've told him that sometimes I feel like a bit of a tourist through this. I can watch, but it's difficult for me to participate.

I think this may be one of the perpetual tensions in our relationship. I can be very minimalist. Steven loves his art. He loves design. He loves decoration. We are very good at meeting each other in the middle. Sometimes we look at each other with very different perspectives.

"That's too much! This is unnecessary."

"You are not trying...  this could be so much more."

Love you!