I'm still alive here in the GNW. I spend a lot of time doing community stuff - serving on HOA committees such as Parks and Trails, putting in time for the women's club and garden club, and serving on the board of the Friends of the Sudden Valley Library, where we fundraise a LOT. We are a sixth of the way there in our building fund, working towards adding a shell to house a 6,500 square foot county library facility within a community center barn. Also I babysit my granddaughter a great many hours a week, occasionally a grandson getting thrown in there as well.
And I wrote a memoir. The reason that this might be worth mentioning, aside from the fact that it is nearly 300 pages long, is that on my THANKS page, I did a general thank you to all the fandom geeks - you guys - who got me through tragedy and strife, encouraged me in my writing, and pretty much had my back. I also included an essay I penned about fandom relationships in a rather general sense, about why the people we know only electronically might not connect all that well with those in their real lives. In addition, with this being a memoir loosely based on the ten days between Jeff's stroke and his death, I threw in a few of your messages to me that I had kept. With ALW going down, I didn't have all of them, unfortunately. Don't worry - if I mentioned you by name, it was usually by online moniker. The story has segments of "realtime" - present tense narrative of the ten days and nights at Jeff's bedside in the two hospitals - intersperced with essays, poetry, and reflections on our over-thirty-year marriage. I hope it's an effective way to show how one's mind races around in time when confronted with the possibility - then inevitability - of losing a lifemate.
This is a self-published effort, so in about two weeks I will get to stand beside a transparent machine, called The Espresso Book Machine, located at our nearby friendly indie bookstore, and watch my books getting cranked out. They literally arrive in a slot still warm. I imagine it's going to be a rather amazing experience.
So, I've updated. What are YOU guys doing these days?
It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)
REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.
*I am the person who is afraid of telling his loving Christian parents he loves another male.
*I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.
*I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
*We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
*I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
*I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.
*I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.
*I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.
*We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.
*I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
*I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
*I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
*I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
*I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
*I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
*I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.
*I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I did not have to always deal with society hating me.
*I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don't believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.
*I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.
Re-post this if you believe homophobia/transphobia is wrong. Please do your part to end it.
A - ACCENT: Southern Californian
B - BREAST SIZE: 38 long
C - CHORE YOU HATE: Making coffee in the morning, because that means there isn't any already made.
D - DAD'S NAME: William. Bill, for short. Also my brother's name.
E - ESSENTIAL MAKE-UP ITEM: Mascara. Otherwise you aren't aware that I have eyelashes.
F - FAVORITE PERFUME: I normally don't wear any, but I love scented shampoos and soaps.
G - GOLD OR SILVER: Silver only.
H - HOMETOWN: Lakewood/Long Beach, California are my birthplace, earliest memories, but I suppose I should say Westminster, CA for fourth grade through sophomore in college.
I - INSOMNIA: Given my age and widowhood, I suppose it's inevitable.
J - JOB TITLE: Grandma, mom, retired teacher. Secretary of everything.
K - KIDS: Three. Four grandkids.
L - LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: I own this house and share it with a kid and her grandkid (Jeff is moving to Pullman to attend college).
M - MOM'S BIRTHPLACE: Ponca, Nebraska, a great place to be FROM.
N - NUMBER OF APPLES YOU'VE EATEN: ...today? None. They aren't in season yet.
O - OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS: Aside from when I was born, none. I spent the night in a chair in hospitals, though - a couple when Shauna had her appendix out and several when Jeff had his stroke. Also spent a night coaching labor for my sister-in-law. But I never gave birth in a hospital.
P - PHOBIA: I have issues with stinging insects. I also hate feeling unprepared and have dreams about that issue often.
Q - QUEST: Hmmm. I have been thinking I need to be using my remaining time much more wisely.
R - RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: none
S - SIBLINGS: One awesome brother.
T - TIME YOU WAKE UP: I wake up a great deal during the night and early morning hours. I am up around 8 unless I have something else going on which would have me up sooner. I think if I lived alone I would be up much earlier, since I wouldn't have anyone to awaken by my movements.
U - UNNATURAL HAIR COLORS YOU'VE WORN: Once I had red highlights. Otherwise, it's all me.
V - VEGETABLE YOU REFUSE TO EAT: None, really.
W - WORST HABIT: laziness
X - X-RAYS YOU'VE HAD: Teeth, arm,ankle, chest, mammogram. No breaks.
Y - YUMMY FOODS YOU MAKE: A whole lot. C'mon over.
Z - ZANY QUIRK: Nothing all that zany. I like piles to be neat. I clean up as I cook.
Haven't been spending much time here, as I have gravitated towards Facebook and some of its black holes, specifically political/social issues. Jeff was accepted to Pullman (WSU) and is leaving in a little over a week, having already found a hippie flat and moved many of his belongings there. He and I attended a transfer student weekend event. It's a small college town, and the folks there appear to embrace the students and take care of them. I feel pretty good about his move, and so does he. Jeremie is still looking for work; in this economy, it's extremely difficult for vet assistants to get work, since people are not taking their animals to the vet as frequently, and there is so much competition for the few positions that open up. The grandkids are growing by leaps and bounds.
I should post here more often.
- Current Location:the usual
- Current Mood: contemplative
The upshot of this is, people, I am going to have to let it go. I don't have the expertise to keep it up, and, let's face it, the SW fandom is a thing of the past. Most folks have moved out and moved on. I hope none of you had things there you wrote and treasured and don't have copies of. If so, I sincerely apologize. I can't do this thing by myself, totally lacking the skills to maintain it, and I really don't see the call for it. Only two members called the fact that the site was down to my attention in the last three months. So let's have a moment of silence, heave a sigh and get on with our lives.
So laura_josephson posted a meme that basically involves friends asking to have five words or phrases listed which pertain to them. So mention "smoked salmon spread" in the comments area of this post and win five fabulous terms. Here are the ones she thought reminded her of me.
1. Luke Skywalker - makes sense, since this he is how I got to know most of you. For me, that character represents a basic core of selfless good that I have always aspired to and rarely attained. And he possesses a special gift that awes and terrifies him, but that he must use or die trying. Recently I have taken up Tai Chi; much of what the Chi is all about is very much Force-like, but the wonderful thing is that we all have it within. It is up to us to decide to reach for it and embrace it.
2. Writing - I hope to get into a better Chi state so that I can complete writing the memoir this year. Many opportunities to hone my craft exist in this community, and I plan to participate in more of them in the coming months. Also, having bought the vacation home with Shauna and her hubby, I now have a refuge for quiet, focused time to devote to that end.
3. Family - Since Jeff's death, and then my parents', I've focused far more inward, towards family and setting. Retiring has allowed that, too. With Shauna and Ward and the boys right down the street, Jeremie and Maddie and Jeff right here with me still, and more frequent visits with the in-laws and my brother and his wife, and being able to talk with them every day on Facebook, too, the bonds have strengthened. I've never lived alone, always with family or roommates, so I suppose it's natural that I would remain people-oriented.
4. Fanfiction - Done with that now, I'm afraid. The only connection which sticks for me is the very few sites I continue to visit and the zine I am helping edit. I will forever be grateful, however, for how fanfiction introduced me to my desire to write and edit, gave me an amazing online community of friends, and rekindled my love of reading.
5. Cooking - In the last couple of years I've really discovered cooking. Oh, I always was involved with it, doing most of the cooking during my marriage, but there was never any joy or creativity connected with it for me. Recently, however, some physical issues, specifically arthritis and budding asthma, have led me to Dr. Andrew Weil and Barbara Kingsolver and the need to use foods which are more local and organic. As a result, I now have a weekly organic produce delivery which forms the basis for that next seven days of dinners. In the past, the entree decided the sidedishes, and only a few simple recipes were rotated. Now the produce determines the protein, few feedlot animals grace our table, and local wild fish and tame tofu are more likely to be on the menu. I spend a lot of time on developing the menues for the week and finding interesting recipes online and in my collection of cookbooks. It has gotten to the point where I can go for months without repeating a main dish. The only downside to this is that my husband would probably have adored the stuff I make now.
SO - fire away.
- Current Location:same ol'
- Current Mood: contemplative
- Current Music:dishwasher
|Which Goddess lurks in your soul?|
It is obvious that leadership is your strong suit! Hera was Queen of all the Greek Gods and the daughter of a Titan. This is no small boast! Hera is selective on who she inhabits and rightfully so. Only those of majestic grace and keen intellects are considered and she will leave in a heartbeat if her host is ungracious or in anyway corrupted by a powerful position. Like Hera, you are a true born leader of the people. Many have come to you over the years seeking guidance and patient understanding to their plights and pains. Your advice is usually rooted in the experiences of your own life and given with great care and caution. Continue on this path and Hera will make you a Queen worthy of remembrance!
Quizzes and Personality Tests
- Current Location:On the loveseat across from the newer doggie
- Current Mood: working
- Current Music:laptop fan
Here could not be any more different than that. Today, with a high in the mid-70s, we sweated through weeding at a community center for a couple of hours - the humidity makes a difference, and we were next to a creek. No breeze. Plenty of appreciative remarks and thanks from the golfers passing by.Then I hit the road to pick up Madison at her summer preschool half an hour away, and NPR was playing Joni Mitchell's "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" - a favorite. Switching the channel after I found Don Henley's "Boys of Summer". The music continued to be seasonal favorites, perfect for driving around the lake into town.
Home with Maddie, we lay on her mom's bed and watched Blue's Clues and Little Bear. It was a relaxed afternoon, which I needed after the exertion of constantly getting down on reluctant knees and back up again, weeding those gardens. But what I love is it's summer, yet I don't have to rush around closing windows and drawing drapes to try to keep the house cool. There is no blasting of floor fans, which would drown out birdsong. We don't have to apply sunscreen to take a walk around the block. I don't plan dinners based on what would have the oven on the least. Here, we barbeque in the rain or snow. Every day colors of the landscape change depending on what's blooming. The air is fresh and fragrant all the time. It's healthy here, no matter the season. I can breathe deeply without worrying about pollution, drink pure, clean water right out of the tap, and talk with not only neighbors who know me, but anyone I encounter, and get a friendly interchange.
For the first time in my life, I can truthfully say I enjoy summer.
- Current Location:in a good place
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:Maddie talking about tomorrow
Today, that is precisely what I did. I had a novel I had started which had captivated me. It made last night shorter than I needed it to be. And, today, what I wanted to do was finish it. Jeremie would be at work, Maddie I had dropped off at preschool, Jeffy was still asleep after having worked til late last night.
So I finished the book. Oh, I did a few minor chores such as clearing out the wilted produce and working on a healthy dinner. But I finished the book. It was awesome. I laughed and cried in equal measure. It was probably considered just chiclit - Marisa de los Santos, Belong to Me - but it was delicious and just what I needed today.
So the dusting and vacuuming will wait til tomorrow. No one here cares. Today I read a lovely story about women connecting with life and with one another.
- Current Location:feet up
- Current Mood: good
- Current Music:Jeffy raiding the fridge