semperfiona: (joy)
So much happy the past couple of weeks. Impossible, unbelievable, and ALL TRUE.

Researching airline tickets. Holiday season not really the most ideal time for travel, but I will vanquish the calendar!


No further comment has been made by my parents on our living situation or anything else from last weekend, which is more or less as expected.


Meanwhile, I'm still working out like a crazed ferret (Y HALO THAR Draco), planning to do the sprint triathlon in the spring. Swimming and biking have always been the easy parts for me, but I'm finding I can in fact run, also. Never could before--maybe I just never had the motivation (wherever it's come from this time, I'll never know)--but I managed a ten-minute-mile average over 3.1 miles last night. Well, just a teensy bit slower than that: 31:31.
semperfiona: A pile of conversation hearts (love hearts)
Well. Mom and Dad are visiting this weekend. They're staying in a hotel, like they do when they visit, on account of there's not enough space for guests--or so we always say, never having clarified exactly which rooms upstairs are used for what and who sleeps where.

Tonight we were all sitting around in the living room here, talking about furniture and home remodeling and such, and Chris just casually explained all the rooms upstairs. "Oh, we keep the TV and sectional in the biggest bedroom, the littlest one is my office..."

Dad asked whether the front room was still Rosa's, got a yes. "And we sleep in the last one."

And continued on to some other topic entirely. The Thing We Do Not Talk About just went completely unremarked.

It's not like we've been completely avoiding pda or petnames or the like, but that was a step further.

Now I wait to see whether I get interventioned or whether we just go on Not Talking About It.
semperfiona: (thing with feathers)
Awesome Debbie is awesome. She listened to me babbling about our trip this weekend, and said, "Do you have a portable DVD player?"

I said, "No, but I have a shiny new laptop that can play DVD's."

She said, "I've heard it's not a good idea to play movies on a laptop in the car. Can cause drive crashes. I have a portable DVD player, I'll bring it for you tomorrow." That will give Rosa something to do, anyway. I just have to make sure she keeps it turned away from me so I don't get distracted by the colorful moving things.

This is going to be interesting. Rosa and I are going to Wisconsin to visit my parents, who are temporarily back from Peru. I scheduled the trip in part because there's an elementary school class reunion on Sunday, and I'm going to go, Gods help me. I figure this will either be a lot of fun or a funny story. Either way, I'm sure y'all will be the first to know.

My class was the last one to attend that particular school, as it was closed after our sixth grade year ( it was thirty years ago that we started sixth grade). The building was then repurposed for offices, but has subsequently been demolished entirely.
semperfiona: (lolcat)
It's been a very eventful week. Crazy, even. Same day Mom and Dad arrived, I got the text message from [ profile] transplantmom that Jennie had lungs! Chris and Tammie have been able to spend far more time at the hopsital than I have, but I stopped in when I could. She's doing very well.

But what kept me away from the hospital and has been keeping me awake at night for the last two weeks? Mom & Dad left this morning on their way back to Peru, after a visit that lasted nearly a week. I'd been terrified. But it went as well as we could have hoped. Perhaps not as well as one might have dreamed, but far better than we dreaded.

As for Mom and Dad, I had an inkling of the tack they would take when on their first evening, Rosa asked a question about whether they put me in Time Outs, and they said (approximately) that I was old enough to decide on my own what to do. That was as close as they ever came to a statement about our life here.

I never did make a "coming out" statement; I've finally decided that it's not necessary. As long as they're willing to acknowledge that Chris and Tammie are in my life and treat them respectfully--and they did--I don't need to push my parents into confronting something head-on that would only distress them.

Prior to their arrival, I had requested only one thing: an attempt to minimize the use of Army WordsTM in the presence of my folks, as cussing has always tended to make them close up. It was mostly successful. The other thing I said was that I would probably be less inclined to PDA than usual, and so it was. But we didn't cut it off totally, and if Mom & Dad haven't figured out for themselves what our relationship is, the ignorance is willful and not imposed.

We-three took them out to dinner the first night, and conversation was pleasant if a bit strained--but then it often is when trying to get to know someone new whom you have few things in common with. I tried really hard to bring up things they might find mutually interesting, and that seemed to help. By Sunday morning brunch, though, conversation had become far easier, and we all played some card games together and such. Tammie plays pinochle: always the road to Mom and Dad's heart. ;-)

Every time Mom and Dad come to visit St Louis, they make a point of calling on Ray and his parents; they have kept in sporadic touch even since the divorce. I have no issue with this. So Friday, when Ray called to talk about something else, Mom asked me to mention to him that they wanted to get together. He suggested dinner Saturday, and requested/assumed that I would also be there. Not my first choice of dinner company, but okay, whatever. We went to House of India (nom nom nom). Every time that Ray had something he wanted to say to me--or wanted me to listen to--he touched my arm (I had rather stupidly sat where he'd end up next to me). I kept flinching and moving my chair away. When I had just reached the conclusion that I was going to have to call him on it, he stopped.
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
My sister lives in San Diego. Escondido, specifically. She and her husband just moved into a new house in July. They've been evacuated and are staying with some friends. As of last night when I talked to her, the Witch Creek Fire had consumed a couple of houses in their subdivision but theirs was still intact. The fire's "on the other side of our hill".

I've been nosing around Google maps this morning. I don't have her exact address to hand (see above, just moved this summer) but it's nervewracking. And I'm not even the one affected.

She said that Monday night when they went to bed, the fire was miles away. During the night, it swooshed down the valleys. They received a reverse-911 call at four a.m. Tuesday; when Jeff answered it the recording didn't start right away so he thought it was a prank, hung up and went back to bed. On getting up Tuesday, preparing for work and starting out the door, they noticed that the neighborhood was deserted. Ran into one of the neighbors *returning* for some forgotten items. Back into the house, pack pack pack and get the hell out.

Jeff was allowed back briefly during the day Tuesday and at that time the house was still intact. We don't know anything after that. I mean, about the house. The family is fine.
semperfiona: (rain leaves)
Ten years ago this week, Ray and I went to Milwaukee to visit my parents for Father's Day weekend. On Sunday, just before leaving town, we went to the nursing home to visit Grandma. She'd been suffering from dementia of some sort--it was never diagnosed, but I suspect Alzheimer's--for a while, and her physical health was also failing rapidly. She welcomed Ray to the family, and had somewhat more lucid conversations with us than I'd witnessed for some time. My father corroborates this: he'd been visiting her at least weekly, and this was her at her best in a year or so.

Even so, little of what she said made sense. However, one sentence was very clear. "I don't like it here."

Dad told her, "You don't have to stay here if you don't want to."

Ray and I weren't home in St Louis an hour when we got a phone call from Dad. Grandma had died quietly shortly after we left. He thinks she didn't want to live anymore, but he'd told her I was coming to visit: she waited for me to make that last visit and then just let go.

Old news, but I'm crying now all the same.

Grandma Hazel, 1/11/1911 - 6/15/1997
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
The lovely [ profile] beckyzoole passed the baton to me.

I'm a little conflicted about music, actually. Before I married Ray I
used to have music on constantly. When I was growing up the house was
almost always full of music. Dad had the stereo or the radio on all the
time. It was nearly always classical, but he was also fond of ethnic
music. We had numerous balalaika orchestra albums, a couple of National
Geographic albums "Songs of the Civil War" and "Music of Scotland" (I
can still sing most of the songs on these albums from memory), Peruvian
flute music, bagpipe marches, etc etc. And when Dad wasn't playing the
stereo Mom was often playing the piano.

But Ray always turned the music off for dinner, and gradually there was
less and less music playing around me. I've still not got back in the
habit of just turning it on for myself, but there is often music playing
at the Lake House now. It's just usually turned on by Tammie or less
often Chris. I do have two or three hundred CD's and cassettes, I just
don't play them often.

I love music, though, and I really want to go back to listening to it
more often. When the music is bouncy, I tend to dance and sing around
the house and it lifts my spirits to do that. Then there's sexy music,
of which more later.

I like most kinds of music. Classical I grew up with--though not much
opera (Dad didn't get into it). In high school I listened to Christian
Contemporary Music. In college I was a metalhead and a Bon Jovi fan. I
am also a very big fan of U2 and REM. For a lot of years I listened to
"adult alternative" on 101.1 the River. But until recently (i.e. meeting
Chris and Tammie), I had very little knowledge or experience of country
music, though my dad did have a few Johnny Cash albums and some cowboy
music albums, and Ray and I used to have a couple of Merle Haggard,
Willie Nelson and Hank Williams CDs. This has changed now; the default
TV station at the Lake House is CMT. I've still never really been able
to appreciate rap. I can't make out the lyrics, usually, and when I can
I still can't understand them. I prefer that if music have words I be
able to sing along. Even if I don't understand the language; I can fake
it if the syllables are distinguishable.

1). Total volume of music files on my computer?: Nothing on this
one (at work). I have four or five songs on my (still not unpacked)
computer that people sent me because they wanted me to listen to them.
There's no rhyme or reason to the selections.
2). The last CD I bought was: the Love Actually
soundtrack, as a Valentine's Day present for Tammie
3a). The last song I listened to before writing this was: Cole
Porter's "It's All Right with Me", as sung by Harry Connick, Jr., on Red
104.1, which is a wonderful station. When I'm not listening to NPR (like
during pledge week) I go there first. Swing, big band, jazz and blues
and ohmygod so sexy! The song, however, didn't work for me in this
particular arrangement. I've never actually heard the song performed
before, but I have the sheet music for it and when I play it I always
interpret it as a slow seductive song. He sang it peppy and bouncy. It
was weird.
3b). Song playing right now: None, I'm at work
4). Five songs I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:Hmmm. I
have some nostalgic and bittersweet associations with Eric Clapton's
"Wonderful Tonight" which used to be Our Song for Ray and me. It can
still reduce me to tears if I'm caught off guard or in a fragile
emotional state already (although the commercial seems to be breaking me
of that). Likewise Bad English's "When I See You Smile" which was mine
and Jim's song, long long ago. Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at
Tiffany's" spoke strongly to me during the falling-apart stage of my
marriage, and Robynn Ragland's "People You Know" expressed many of my
feelings about Kirk and some of my other lost or distant friends.
There's nothing that comes to mind for this stage in my life.
5). Which 5 people are you passing this baton to?
[ profile] harlequinade
[ profile] devilmuse
[ profile] neeuqdrazil
[ profile] ohari
[ profile] lavendargrrl

Ooh, new question. What music do you find the sexiest? There are certain
songs that light me up all over. Some singers' voices will do it no
matter what they're singing, too (Josh Groban *grins at Tammie* and
Norah Jones), some classical music is seductive (Ravel's Bolero, for
instance--it's something in the rhythm), but a couple specific songs
that I find particularly sexy are INXS's "You're One of My Kind", and
Melissa Etheridge's "I Wanna Come Over".
semperfiona: (Default)
I had a phone call late last night from my cousin Dawn Marie. She's going to be in St Louis for the next week because her son is having heart surgery at Children's Hospital. I didn't even know she had a son before this, but he's 18 months old. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get together with her and visit them, although this is a very busy week.
semperfiona: (Default)
There was a postcard from Kirk in my mail today, which gave a lift to my evening, and then I checked my voice messages and found one from my aunt. She and my uncle are in town tonight through Saturday morning, so we're going to get together tomorrow night. They retired, sold their printing business, and bought a motor home. They've been touring 'round the country since December first. I knew they'd pass through here eventually, but hadn't quite expected them so soon, nor with so little notice. Still, I wasn't doing anything anyway except watching Rosa, and they'll want to see her, so it all works out nicely.

The only bummer is my failed attempt to make dulce de leche. The condensed milk in my pantry had apparently been there for a very long time and had gone all thick and nasty. Mental note: add condensed milk to the grocery list.
semperfiona: (Default)
I love my parents dearly, but they are so far different from me that we might as well live on different planets, not just different continents. I'm pagan, bi, and poly, recently divorced. They're deeply devout fundamental Christians, serving as missionaries in Peru, monogamously married for 36 years now. I just received a message from my father saying "Rejoice with us! We have a new sister in the kingdom!". I replied by changing the subject completely and talking about my job.

I can't even bring myself to tell them that I'm not a Christian anymore, let alone the more difficult things like my sexuality or my relationship with Jen. I suppose because I don't want them to stop loving me, or what would almost be worse, to try to "bring me back to the Lord". I'd rather just not share a full connection than threaten what remains by coming out to them. I don't trust them to accept me for what I truly am.

I'm almost 34 years old, and I'm afraid of my parents. It's painful to admit, but it's true. I don't think that will ever change.
semperfiona: (Default)
I had a very strange dream this morning. My sister Kathy and I were both visiting our parents at our childhood home in Wisconsin. She had just gotten divorced from Jeff and remarried someone called Larry, who wasn't there. She had not brought her kids Josh or Kara, but she had brought a different little girl, her youngest. Then I found a book on the floor about cheating in relationships, and my mother whispered a secret to me: " looks just like Larry" and we all knew Kathy had still been married to Jeff when the little girl was born. I felt completely shocked, my sister has always been the "good one", the devout Christian. Later my sister and I were folding laundry, and I asked her if it would be okay if I kept in touch with Jeff, the way my family is keeping in touch with Ray. She was horrified and demanded a promise that I would not try to contact him. He also had already remarried and gained primary custody of my niece and nephew, and I could not understand how Kathy could stand not to see them for so long.

In reality, Kathy and Jeff are still married, and have only the two named children. I don't even know anyone named Larry. So where did ths dream come from?


semperfiona: (Default)

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