Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weddings, A Reflection

Hand painted

These ladies are dangerous, I tell ya! Truly, they define me.

Charlotte had these made

Birdhouse
Two sets of friends got married yesterday.  I have almost always hated weddings.  I would avoid them at all costs, especially my own.  You can imagine what it took to change my mind.  Not only did some people get married, but more are planning to marry next year.  I can't believe how long it takes to plan and pay for a wedding these days. Weddings are an entire industry, much to my surprise.  In such an economy, I would guess that it makes sense to people to go smaller.  But I'm wrong. There are some really big affairs out there!  If that's what the bride and groom decide on, I'm not one to nay-say. Lots of people love big parties and catered events. All of those ideas sort of give me hives. My grandparents got married in a private home, with my great aunt officiating and my great uncle as a witness.  My mom had a small ceremony in our family church for her first wedding and her final wedding was in a beautiful state park- the same one where we had our family reunion this year.  She and her husband, who I love, just celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary.

I love to tell this story. I love to re-tell it, so even if you've heard it, just tuck in and listen again. In re-telling, sometimes I remember things I missed last time.

G and I got married in 2012.  I wanted to just elope to Eureka Springs.  My dear friends have a house there, and for as long as they have, I have had my own bedroom.  We could've just snuck over the stat line, got married and been done with it.  Really, only one thing kept us from it: love.  G always wanted his mom to be there.  And the more we thought about it, the more we became convinced that a little ceremony shared with a few people would be just right.  My stipulation was on limiting the number of guests.  I just don't do well in groups of people. Inevitably, I say something stupid or inappropriate and wish I could just crawl in a hole and hide.  Yes, yes, I know. I'm a professor.  That's a story for a different day.

Our wedding was a small affair, held at a local train station.  We like to travel, we wanted a small wedding and the simple decor and inviting space with lots of natural light was just perfect.  It was the second marriage for both of us.  We had around 30 wedding guests, and instead of a guestbook, we had friends and family dip their thumb in green or purple ink and press it onto a painting of a tree, then sign their names.  I spent months painting birdhouses to give away- my way of thanking the people who attended and sending them home with a personal gift.

My friend Cathy arranged all the flowers and made, yes MADE my bouquet and my maid of honor's, all of the boutonni√®res and flowers and decorations.  That's not just talent but hard work.  She learned how to do that stuff for my wedding alone.  She had my hair and make up done too.  My dear Charlotte lent me her pearls and serving dishes.  She had magnets made with our picture on them and the date and gave me the adorable shoes I wore.  My sister Mickie sent me a 1973 penny for my shoe, which I still have, and cake servers used by our mom and grandma at their weddings. It was all so much fun and so beautiful.  My flower girl was cranky, my amazing cousin Christian walked me down the "aisle" (I surprised him at the last minute with that one!) and G and I seated our own guests.  Our minister was Unitarian and read from a kindle.  Cathy read us a bit of Shakespeare. G handled the music, selecting every song.  My sister Patti and G's brother Tate were our witnesses and stood up with us.  My mom even came.  My new sister in law even painted my toes for me.  Everyone blew bubbles and my new nieces served the cake.

Just before we began, Gs mom pulled me aside and gave me a gift.  It was a palm-sized book of poetry that Johnny had given her on their wedding day.  I tucked it into my bodice and kept it close all day.   And even though I'd already seen him in his suit, and he'd gone with me and Cathy to buy my dress- which was the first one I tried on and which fit perfectly- I couldn't take my eyes off him.  It was perhaps the best day of my life.

We went to New Orleans for our honeymoon and drove there and back, stopping by my new in-laws on the way home to Oklahoma.

The total cost of my wedding was less than $4,000, including our rings (which are beautiful), the ceremony and accoutrement and the honeymoon.  We kept the size of the wedding party small on purpose.  I'm an introvert and can't see spending that kind of energy on a party just to make other people happy.  I do wish we could've invited a few more people, but only so many could fit in the venue.  As it was, Cathy and Charlotte did an amazing job of organizing and putting things together. The people who came are people who mean the world to me and to G, and I think the small number helped me to relax and enjoy the day.

I don't blame people for spending a lot of money on a wedding.  For me though, I think that no matter the cost, a small ceremony would have still been my choice.  The outcome was what I wanted- a way to say, in front of friends, loved ones and family, that we love each other and that from that day we would work as a team, merging our families and relying on them to accept us as a couple into their lives.  Large groups make me tired. I read that the average cost of a wedding in Oklahoma last year was 15k to 36k.  I'd rather give a good downpayment on a house.  Besides, each person who came contributed and continues to be a part of our lives.  I'm getting to know my in-laws and Gs friends, even if at long distance.  My family seems to adore him and here in Ellensburg, everyone we meet has only known us as a couple. That's comforting, really.  At our church we are the Cavitt's.

The other day, Eleanor crawled into Gs lap and fell asleep.  She's never done that with anyone but me before.  And I think that's fitting. Eleanor and I are both much happier for his presence in our lives.
Birdhouse

Cathy and Shakespeare (via kindle)

Besties!

Kimberly and Grace

G and S...now why didn't I get a good photo w/her?

I promise they are brothers!

What would I do without Patti?! <3 td="">

If you look in my bodice, you'll see a little book of poetry

Actually, we wake up like this sometimes

Tres leche cake from Whole Foods. My mom embroidered the tablecloth by HAND

Pretty hair!

cake cutting 
One of my nieces has red hair! 
:) 

Oh Johnny Pentecost! 

This guy!

Thanks for the introduction, Jinglett! 

Patti and VP

After party?!
Dearest Friends!

Happy Face!

Happy Faces

Mom and Cathy

Patti and VP

Hi! I'm married to this guy! 

Anna and A

That's my "I'm gonna get you" face. 

This is my family too now.
Keegan and my mom

Serving cake

Now how can we each get a corner piece? 

<3 nbsp="" td="">

I love this photo of my mom

Wedding party

I love these people!



Friday, September 20, 2013

Random 5 Friday

My bloggy buddy Nonnie (introduced by my fabulous MIL) inspired me today with her Random 5 Friday blog. I'll do one for you too.  For rules on the Random 5, go here.

1. Today is the day Eleanor goes to the vet for her check up.  I'm excited because I think her bloodwork will come back wonderfully.  She feels better! Her appetite is good and she's much more snuggly than she was.  I bet that's also because it's cooler outside.

2. I love that it's cooler, but I can't drink pumpkin spice lattes and it's killing me. No places serve almond milk or rice milk in their lattes- it's all milk or soy.  I'm allergic to milk and soy.  So I tried pumpkin spice tea from Stash. It tastes like warm water and cinnamon. Blech.
3.  I've been working out in the early mornings lately.  I....like it. Let me just say that I am NOT a morning person, but it's nice to get up at 5:45, snuggle with the little kitty, make some coffee and have a cup with my husband before I hit the gym at 6:30.  It was 40 degrees yesterday morning but 48 this morning with sunshine.
4. I had the opportunity to give a presentation on conflict management this week to an incoming group of freshman leaders.  The retreat was way up on White Pass, past Yakima and following the great Naches river.  The workshop went well with facepainting, discussions, group work and skits.  The drive was even more impressive.
5.  My brother in law, B, helps with a race car team.  I'm not sure if it's stock car or sprint car or what, but he's been on the pit crew for a number of years.  Besides his family and fishing, I think this is his passion.  The driver grew up around their little town and B believes in him and wants those dreams to come true.  And as it happens, there is a race in Yakima tonight and tomorrow. G and I are going to go support them and watch the shows.  Have I ever been to a car race? I don't think so. I'm not even sure what kind of cars are in Nascar or the Indie 500 or what horserace is popular this decade.  BUT it will probably be fun and my nephew, who turned 13 this week, will be there too.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recover

I thought that since last week was so stressful and dramatic, I'd comment on my very calm and casual weekend.

Basically, we recovered.  It's been hot, so most of our activities are in the evenings when it cools off.  I'm tired of the 90 degree days.  I want snow!!
Is it snowing yet? How about now? Are we there yet? 

We went out to dinner on Friday to celebrate "I'm not unemployed!".  We got home around 7:30 and I was exhausted, so I waited until about 10 and went to bed.  G ended up staying up reading most of the night and slept in the next day.  I didn't want to wake him so I figured a day of self-care was in order.  I worked out, colored my hair, painted my toes and did a face mask.  Stuff G doesn't need to be a part of, though we do loved exercising together.  I called and talked to my dear, dear Charlotte for over an hour.  That lady is good for my soul.

Once he got up, we just lounged around and spent a relaxing day doing very little.  Again, I had a rough day with my tummy so I went to bed early.  I mean, that was it. Just relaxing and talking and watching movies and being silly. Just what I needed.

We got up reasonably early on Sunday.  It was sunrise service and began at 6:30 a.m. and so we just stayed home.  Last Sunday I did my once monthly book club meeting with the high school kids and we had 3 other adults come too so it was a great conversation about the book "The Girl Who Fell From The Sky" by Heidi Durrow.  So this Sunday we just chilled out. We went shopping and found two awesome chairs at Goodwill from Ethan Allen.  One of them needed glue, so they were marked at $5 each.  I have glue and know how to use it.  So we did and I did and it was pretty darn awesome.

I know you've all been wondering how Eleanor is doing.

That cat will never die. Not if I have anything to say about it.

She's been terribly sick.  When I started her on the thyroid medicine, she was throwing up and just not hungry or thirsty.  She rapidly lost weight and my veterinarian was looking at me like "she ain't gonna bounce from this".  Yeah right. I took out all of her hard food and put her on canned, then bought her a bunch of crunchy treats and a few cans of tuna for variety.

It may seem excessive that I'd get up three times per night to feed her, but if I didn't, she would vomit uncontrollably.  And a week later, the vomiting was gone.  A few days after that, I stopped feeding her at night.

And now, a month later, she's gained weight and is probably back to her pre-sickness weight.  She gets her food thrice daily (sometimes four times if she plays her cards right) and gets her medicine twice a day.  It's Prednisone, thyroid medicine and an anti-vomiting medication called Metrocloprimide.  And we have a special way of doing it.  I sing the "It's medicine time" song, then pet her and give her two pills and the dropper of Metrocloprimide, then pet her some more and sing the "Medicine time is over" song and snuggle with her until she purrs.  Please don't judge me. I'm afraid to lose my 17 year old kitty and will do anything in my power to keep her healthy.  Yes, I know it's excessive to some people.  The whole operation takes less than 5 minutes and I think it amuses G to no end.  Not that he'd own up to it.
Why do you insist on pilling me? It's torture! 

In any case, there was a big football game last night.  Seahawks versus 49ers.  Huge rivalry.  Since moving back to Washington, I've renewed my fandom for both the Mariners (that's baseball) and the Seahawks.  I love our Seattle teams.  Alright, I love the OKC Thunder too, but don't tell my Washington friends.  But big game night.  I wanted to watch the game, so I invited my husband to go to a restaurant and eat and watch the game.  He agreed.  My husband hates sports. Sports aren't really his thing to watch, but he went anyway and was very pleasant.  I asked him about it, because I could have certainly called my girlfriends and said I wanted to go with them.  But he said the sweetest thing.  G spent his life around women.  He's a great listener and I encourage those female friendships as much as his male friendships.  You know what he says? He says he doesn't want me to have to feel like my husband doesn't take an interest in my interests.  Frankly, I don't mind that he doesn't enjoy sports, but I do just love him for being willing. Best. Husband. Ever.
Honey, the screen is behind you.  Oh, never mind. 

So we went and ate and I had a beer.  Kind of unusual for me, but it's football.

And just five minutes after we got home, it started to rain.  There was a storm front moving in.  And it heralds the first days of real fall.  Not a hint, not a whiff here and there in the mornings, but real fall.  No more days over 80 in the 10-day forecast.  "And in this moment, among us has broken the reaping season."  We sat on the porch and just watched it rain for awhile.  I sipped chamomile tea and, as it seems to be our custom, we counted our blessings together.  
Break out the sweaters! 

So there you have it. A reprieve from stress and a bunch of rest.  Next Friday I'll take Eleanor in for her follow up appointment to check her thyroid.  The medicine seems to depress her voice, but she has her ways of getting our attention.  As soon as I know something else about the job thingy, I'll let y'all know.  Until then- let's just say no news is good news.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Tension

I usually handle stress pretty well. It doesn't come naturally to me; I had to learn healthy coping mechanisms in my early 30s after years of doing such a poor job that my health and other's safety were threatened.  What I do now is talk to close friends about what is bothering me, pinpoint how I really feel about it and discuss ways of resolving the conflict or problem.  I accept love and support and only occasionally just bottle things up.  In times of stress, I pay extra attention to my physical health and what I eat and tend to get a little more close mouthed than normal. I get lots of exercise.

That's what I've been doing since last week.

There's an acronym for taking care of oneself. It's HALT.
Whenever you're
Hungry
Angry
Lonely or
Tired,
stop what you're doing because you need to do some self care.  Make your bed, take a nap or go to bed.  Things always look better in the morning.  Find a friend and quit isolating yourself and talk out the problem. And for goodness sake, eat something. In other words, when you've got those symptoms, halt and pay attention. You're no good to anyone else if you're not taking care of yourself.

What with my food allergies and my doctor's inability to help me figure out exactly what causes my digestive system to freak out, I'm waiting for an appointment with a gastroenterologist.

In the meantime? I'm stressed.  Like STRESSed.
My contract at my job runs out today and I'm not at all convinced that I will be retained.  It's not that they don't want to keep me here, it's just that nothing has worked out.

In January, I interviewed and was offered a tenure-track position in English Education.  Do you know how rare that is? My boss wrote me a letter saying that I would be retained and I let the opportunity pass. It wasn't in Washington, where I want to be.   And since I'd begun working at the university last September, I'd met regularly with my boss.  He assured me things were progressing.

Indeed, we got the funding for the position they wanted to create for me.  My contract ran out at the end of June, but was extended until August, and then again until September 15th.  In the meantime, I was encouraged to apply for a different position- one I felt really enthusiastic about.  That's how things were two weeks ago.

Worried, but trusting.

So I interviewed. I waited.
I was scheduled to meet with the dean for the position I applied for.  The secretary said he was meeting with all the candidates.  That screams "you didn't get it", in case you didn't know.  And I didn't get it.

I met with my boss again. He said that I was also out of the running for the position they created for me.  Another department had gotten control of it and wanted someone with Oracle experience and wouldn't budge on that.

Ok.

So we met again on Tuesday, and my boss pitched me two options.  I was like "those are ok options, but my contract expires Friday."  He said he knew that and would get back to me.

It's too late this year to apply for faculty positions. It's far too late to get another job.


That brings us to today, to right now.  At almost noon on Friday.  My kind, sweet, supportive husband is awesome but I'm still pretty tense.  I worked out extra hard this week and got enough sleep and company and discussion.

I'm pretty sure that all of the stress management in the world isn't going to help until I hear something.

Wish me luck! *crosses fingers*

******************UPDATE***********************
My boss isn't in today. There is no contract that the secretary knows of in the works.

Oh. Well then.

****UPDATE #2********

With 15 minutes to spare, the department secretary (who I just adore) called to tell me that they are extending my contract another month.  On the positive side, I'm glad to be employed. On the negative- what the hell are they going to do with me?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Insert Job Title Here

Well, I found out today that I didn't get what I wanted.

It's a work thing. My boss has been promising me a permanent, full-time position for over a year.  Right now I'm in limbo. I'm classified as a "research associate" but since June 30th, I've had little to do.  He got really excited about a job on campus and said I'd be perfect for it.  So, a couple of weeks ago, I applied.

I was pretty excited. It's in my area and a wonderful job to have if you want to make a difference in your community and in the university.  Found out today that No, the one dean who makes the decision overrode my dean and his dean.

Awesome. Now we don't know what I'm going to do for employment.  They have an obligation to keep me for another year, but I have no idea what that's going to look like.  He sent an email asking if I'd be ok with driving to Yakima (over a little mountain pass) for the "right opportunity".

I like walking to work. I really, really don't want to go off campus. I just don't know if I have a choice. I can't afford to be a Ph.D. in the unemployment line. Not after moving me and my family up here for this job. It's so frustrating! I want my life to be settled and predictable, not up in the air the way it's been since last freaking May.

So if anyone needs me tonight, I'm licking my wounds in a hot rose-scented bathtub and then sipping chardonnay on the porch with my sweet husband.

I'm sure this will all shake out. I think my boss just has intentions that far exceed his actual authority and I'm disappointed and worried about job security.  For the moment, though, I'm really pissed off.