Okay, here comes the monster update on life, living, friends from all over the place, health, work and more boring stuff than one could imagine. But the summer blogging didn't happen and some have been asking me for updates. Here goes.
Work: Well, that's the interesting thing for us right now. My sweet husband is on strike. Has been for a month. Remember all the weekends he worked overtime during the summer? Yep, that was the strike fund so we would be prepared and could survive financially. Thus far, we have not had to touch the strike fund at all. Hallelujah! If things continue as is - with us living carefully - we think we will have to raid it around November 1st. Hopefully the strike doesn't last that long. I'd really rather use the strike fun to remodel the bathroom!
With the current economy, my work is so slow that we expect a layoff there. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will the board allow the layoff of the 2-3 lowest paid and least knowledgeable folks? If so a board member's daughter will be laid off. Will the accountant determine that we must lay off folks with higher salaries and more knowledge? If so, then I fall squarely in that range of possible people. We just do not know what will happen... but we have made plans for any "just in case" issues. I'm one of the extreme few in the office who is not afraid. Don't get me wrong, the tension is so big that no one is stress-free. It's just that we have worked out what to do if it is me, so we are okay.
Friends: It's been an amazing summer of time with friends from all over the country. Scoot was here from Alabama and we spent a glorious day with Carrie in Seattle. One of those spectacular Seattle summer days with great weather, lots of laughter and an incredible lunch where we were treated like royalty. Then, 2 weeks later, Melissa from Florida and SuziQOregon surprised me... as y'all read about earlier in my blog about rockin' friends. Still can hardly believe they pulled it off and how lovely it is to have friends who will do something that outrageous - just for me. Love you guys!
Another 2 weeks and sweet Karen from Mississippi came to visit with her nice husband. It was such a fun weekend showing them the areas we enjoy, talking, laughing, eating way too much and getting a big kick out of their enjoyment of our very contemporary church that is so very different than their more traditional churches in the South. Hearing sweet Karen's glorious voice raised in song during church is one of my precious memories of the summer.
Another 3 weeks and we head down to Portland for an impromptu party to celebrate my friend Terry's 50th birthday. It was tons of fun, mostly because Terry is like my brother and we always egg one another on until one of us laughs so hard tears run down the face.
My friend Jenna got married in August in one of the most beautiful ceremonies I've seen. Over lunch - or was it breakfast - early in her engagement I gave her a bit of advise. Ensure that the last couple days before the wedding are errand and duty free so that you can be a very relaxed bride, prepared for your celebration both public and private. I was proud to see how she took that advise to heart and how it impacted her day. She was a joyful, relaxed and stress-free (not to mention stunningly gorgeous) bride. The ceremony and reception were filled with meaning and family and joy. It was my great honor to be celebrating with them!
Family: my dumb-ass brother is back on drugs and living on the street with the "will work for food" sign, where he makes almost $300.00 per day so he can buy his damn drugs. I'm angry at him and totally heartbroken at how he has thrown away his life, once again. When he gets arrested, and he will, he will then have to face up the the California 3 strikes law... and spend the rest of his life in prison. My family is so torn up by him, again. People keep calling Mama to tell her they have seen him. I'm angry with them, too. The first time someone calls is bad enough, although I could excuse it because the motivation could very well be letting Mama know that he is alive. But the 6th time the same person calls - within a month's time - just speaks to the fact that the person can't get enough of humiliating Mama. Heartbreaking all around.
Health: My sweet husband is being treated for a terrible case of varicose veins. Bad enough that the doc is trying a bunch of different treatments, but expects to have to do surgery anyway. Gotta go through the gyrations for the insurance company. Not life threatening, thankfully, but painful and a pain in the butt for him nonetheless.
I've been diagnosed with genetically induced high blood pressure. Thanks to both Mama and Bud, my birth father. Yep, I called them both to thank them for sharing. We were all surprised that it hit me so early, but taking a single pill each day is far better than having a stroke, eh? Besides, if I had a stroke, I probably couldn't quilt! Due to the high blood pressure, I've finally gotten serious about exercise and am walking 3 miles each morning before work. It's been good for me to do this. Between the meds, walking, eating better and losing a few pounds, I'm feeling better than I have in years. Yay!
Quilting: Not a lot has happened for a while. I'm stuck. It's the dang ugly-ass quilt (UAQ) that I'm making for my sister-in-law. I made the mistake of letting her pick the fabrics... and they do not go together at all. In fact, the ones that do go together end up looking muddy and boring, then add in the other fabrics that do not coordinate and you get the UAQ. I made myself get to a point on it and I'm stuck. I do not want to work on the UAQ, but I won't let myself work on anything else until it's done. Including Christmas gifts, which will need to be sent out in about 60 days. Yikes!!! I may have to put the UAQ aside until after Christmas and get it done in time for her birthday in March. We shall see.
Life: in spite of all the oddities and stressors above, we are happy and doing well. Yay! Our needs are met and we are spending time with one another, enjoying conversation and all the other good stuff.
And now my dinner is almost done, so I will go pull it out of the oven, pour a lovely glass of wine for us and do some of that enjoying with my sweet husband. It's good.
...may there be mercy and continued recognition of the good, in spite of any stress.