Love amazes me

If you know me, you know I’ve been lacking in the “partner who adores me” category for most of my life. Nearly fifteen years since my divorce has left me…fine, I’ll admit it, slightly bitter about the whole idea of love.

But this man makes me believe that there are couples who will really, truly, deeply love each other.

This kind of love amazes me and, to be honest, made me sob tears of sadness and joy.

Look! It’s us!

Five years ago my two kids and I moved in with Jennifer and her son. Somehow it work and worked well. Audrey and I moved out last fall when we had the opportunity, but  Stuart stayed on.

It wasn’t until a couple years ago that anyone seemed to take notice of the arrangement. First, we were included in the book Shared Housing by Annamarie Pluhar, then an article on Mommyish months later, and another year later I got a call from a writer at All You magazine. Another half year and it’s in print.


It’s out now, but if you read it, remember that while it’s in first-person, I didn’t actually write it. 😉

Sleeping in Seattle

It was supposed to be a birthday trip, but funds were too tight in November to make it happen, so we waited until we could do it right.  With only a few days notice, we decided to go last weekend for  weekend trip.

We caught the bus early to head to the train station downtown .20130227-194514.jpg

It was the first time we’ve ridden a train together in the States and we couldn’t help but compare it to the trains in Vietnam. I couldn’t help but wish we were paying Viet prices (the same trip there would have cost less than $5/each). 20130227-194742.jpg

Audrey wanted pasta carbonara, but the only Italian place we could find didn’t serve it. Instead she got lasagna that came without noodles. Weird. 20130227-194807.jpg

We took the underground tour, though I was obviously the only one really interested in it. Sigh. It was my second trip through and not nearly as interesting as the first time six years ago. 20130227-194958.jpg

The Gum Wall has been there forever, even in the early ’90s when their father and I used to frequent Seattle, but Audrey had never been. She got her first up-close experience. Ew. 20130227-195050.jpg

The light fixtures at Pike Place were amazing. So was the heavy stench of pot being smoked down below us.20130227-195126.jpg

Audrey and Stuart both got their fortunes over by the Big Wheel on the pier, but hers was mind-blowing in its appropriateness for the moment. 20130227-195159.jpg

Our other splurge was visiting the EMP with its leather jacket displays and video game exhibit. 20130227-193742.jpg

We picked up junk food on our second visit to Pike Place.20130227-193722.jpg

The Seattle Public Library was well worth the visit and I have no idea why it’s taken me two decades to venture inside. 20130227-193657.jpg

It’s an amazing library, really. 20130227-193609.jpg

A little call to home in Oregon from a vintage newspaper. 20130227-193638.jpg

Then a late dinner at Deli No More before catching the Bolt bus home. 20130227-193537.jpg

A happy birthday weekend, even if it was a little late.


We moved into our new place on December 1 and this is what the main room was looking like:

The aparment is tiny, less than 500 square feet. Add to the lack of floor space, the fact that there is only one closet , in my daughter’s room, and we’ve got a real quandary. Where is all this stuff gonna go?!

There weren’t many options on how to arrange furniture in the apartment–the couch could go on the wall or in the middle of the room. Same goes for the TV.  The main room plays quintuple duty as kitchen, living room, dining room, office and my bedroom, so I had to figure out a way to divide things up just a little and this is what we settled on:

House Plan

I forgot to mark a door into the bathroom, but be assured there is one.

I was able to get three bookshelves [on sale for $25 each at IKEA] and fill them with books and display the handful of Xmas cards that showed up. (USPS has been sending my mail all over: to our old address, to the new address and returning to sender.) But the point is, we have a place to put the cards that did show up.

I’m still having a hard time figuring out how to deal with my clothes. Granted I don’t have a lot, but I do need a place to put them. The half-dozen dresses I wear hang on the coat rack around the corner from the front door. But all the socks, underwear, tights, pjs, pants, and tees have to go somewhere and for now they are hanging out (literally) in boxes on the bookshelves.


Not attractive. But whatever, it works for now. I like the wooden box, though I’m not sure how practical it is for getting things in and out of. I may be tweaking the clothes arrangement for a while still.

Once I get the curtain ironed and hung up, I’ll show you the other end of the room, too. The “office” area where I keep editing, writing and editing more.

But for now, we are still getting settled.

Stormy Weather

Life has been a bit like the weather lately. Mostly dark, stormy and not enjoyable in the least. Every once in a while I can see a little blue sky on the horizon and it reminds me that it won’t stay like this forever.

There will be days, perhaps months from now, that I will wake up and not be disappointed that I did. There will be sunshine once more. Someday I won’t be living below the poverty line and the stress of how do I feed my kid and pay rent? will ease. I hold out hope for that. I have given up on the idea of romantic love, but hold tightly to the love and kindness of my friends.

There isn’t much to do about the storm, but wait it out.

Weekend Away

One of the real perks for being with the GuyFriend is that he forces me to slow down sometimes. I tend to have twenty-plus irons in the fire at all times and rarely feel like I can take a breath, let alone a day off to do nothing. My to-do list isn’t getting any shorter that way, y’know.

But it’s amazing to me how great it is for my body and soul to just not worry about that list for a little while. We got home late Sunday afternoon from a three-day trip to Waldo Lake in central Oregon, a respite I needed.

It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized just how much sitting at a desk all day is impairing my healing from the rear-ending accidents. Despite walking for nearly 7 miles on Saturday, my neck didn’t hurt (though I’ll admit to a slight back ache). Even on Sunday, after two nights on the cold, hard ground, my neck could still move without pain. The two stiff bands of muscles that have failed to stop seizing for months, relaxed. There was none of the non-stop ache I’ve come to expect. There were no painful headaches that are a nearly-daily occurrence during the work-week.

I wanted to stay out there longer, avoid going back to the tasks that make me hurt, ache and rely on pain meds. But here I am, back at a keyboard and already my shoulders have tightened, the right side of my neck is aching and the headache is back. Luckily, I have pictures to remind me of the peace that comes with leaving a to-do list at home.

Seriously? What are the odds?

I was the filling of a three-car pile-up on I-5. In my dad’s newly repairs red truck. The same one I was driving in November when I got hit.

Spending this (finally!) sunny afternoon with an ice pack and pain meds.

Yippee times three

It’s nice when there are things to be happy about.

Happy 63rd, Dad!

I got to celebrate my dad’s 63rd birthday with both my parents, my daughter, my sister and her kids. I know an awful lot of people my age who have lost one or both of their parents, so it makes events like these even more precious. Plus Nate and Samantha both got to be there, not in the hospital like they have been so often lately.

Second thing? The GuyFriend and I are patching things up, making amends and trying to craft what was actually a very good thing when it worked into something even better. The daughter and I have been moving our stuff into his place (which he kindly shifted around for us) this past week and so far, so good. I know there will be rough patches, but in all honesty, I think it’s good for all of us.

And last, I found out that my WordPress-hosted blog that I started this on was still active and therefore I hadn’t lost all my posts as I’d thought. Triple Whoop just for that one.

Life is crazy with work and sewing and kid and living. But I like it.

Gluten Free Bread, attempt #8432.

So it’s been what, five years since I went gluten-free? I have to alway compare it when we returned from Vietnam, so I guess it is more like 4 1/2 years. A while. There aren’t many times when I really feel like This sucks! except when I can smell fresh, homemade bread. And then I want to sit down and cry for a while knowing that I will never have that again.

Seriously sucks.

But there’s hope and I keep trying out bread after (fake) bread, hoping to find something that tastes remotely similar. I have found that I really like Udi’sfor sandwiches, still a rare treat at something close to $5/loaf. And then there’s the Gluten Free Pantry mix that is fairly close to the real deal according to my daughter (who can still comparison taste, unlike me).

But I’d love to find a way to make it at home because, well, that’s how I am. As has been pointed out, if there is a more time-consuming way to do something, that’s what I’ll do. shrug So I’m going to try out this recipe that I found via one of my favorite fabric designers, Daisy Janie (organics, whoop!).