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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
January 2023
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best one of the year

Two of my family are visiting and have completely changed the house for Bear and I (so much better). Our TV and couch and garage and tool organization and washer and dryer and our networking (TV and internet). They’ve all been improved or moved or fixed. It’s stunning. Our neighbors completely transformed our front and back yards. All of this since Wednesday. We’ve been having a blast and are loving the changes.

Bear has been cooking for us and it’s all been amazingly good. Succulent meats and smooth starches and balancing vegetables and accents (is cranberry sauce an accent? I think so) have had us all very happy when we aren’t working and freezing.

We’ve still got a ways to go, but I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

they don’t call them toxic assets

This all started with Dan Savage’s column about singles and established couples. You gotta go read it (just the aside in the first response, although I like Dan Savage’s stuff, so maybe go read all of it?). I must warn you, that what I want you to read does take place in a conversation about a transwoman having qualms about her relationship. But if you read this blog and you can’t handle that… I don’t know what to tell you. I guess email me that you want a summary. I would tell you to put your adult panties on and read it with an open mind, but I try not to tell people how to live their lives anymore.

Longevity is a big question in relationships. Maybe not when we are young. When I was a teenager, I worried about people dying, not running out of time. Maybe that distinction doesn’t really exist, but I promise that I did fear the first and didn’t even realize the second. So if you told me at 16 that I’d be 28 and worried about having (a) child(ren) before I was 35, I wouldn’t have understood. At all. It would have been like you were speaking Greek. But now I’m 28 (almost) and I get how you can think, “Maybe I’m wasting my time on him/this.” or “Maybe I should have a kid now even if I don’t feel ready.”

When I was 16, I had no problem jumping to my relationship with both feet. I had unlimited energy and time and passion. Now that I’m 28, I’m careful and greedy of my energy and time and passion.

I’m pretty sure when my mom was 20 and she was pregnant with me, she never thought that 9 years later she’d be divorced. I’m pretty sure she was still thinking that she could work out all her problems. That with time and energy and passion, things could be fixed. I do know she already knew there was a problem with her marriage.

I know I’ve got friends who are my age (ish) and are questioning their relationships. They aren’t sure that those relationships will last and whether they should keep working at it. They know there aren’t easy answers and we don’t have a crystal ball and yeah, maybe their relationships will fail.

I remember Bear and I having trouble. I remember talking to my bff and my brother and wondering how this relationship would last. I remember the times when our relationship was thin. Except that both of us, even during those times when the relationship was weak, I KNOW we both wanted the relationship. I KNOW we wanted each other. I know these things because Bear and I talked. I know because I asked him and he asked me.

I’ve been questioning lately whether we are guilty of what Dan Savage is so upset about in his column. That people long in relationships tell singles that we “just know” when a relationship is going to work. I think what couples get wrong is that we didn’t “just know” ourselves, but we knew the other person was willing to work. Maybe it’s not about what you know of yourself, but what you know of your partner. Maybe if you are worried about your own dedication, you should check with your partner. If they are dedicated, then that might be the sign you need. That might be the clue that this is something that can grow strong again.

Going back to my mom, I can say with certainty that if she had talked to my father, she would have understood how what he believed completely did not match up with what she believed. If my mother has ever had a failing, it’s her inability to extract information from others and relate it to her own context. If my father has ever had a failing, it’s his inability to see the world in the context of other people’s realities. And if either of them had bothered to figure out what the other’s goals and ambitions were and how determined they were to hold onto the other person, maybe I wouldn’t be here. Or maybe my brother wouldn’t be. It’s hard to wish they hadn’t gotten together, but I do wish they were willing to realize their biggest failings.

So I guess my point is, people always tell me “Bear is so in love with you.” They can see it on his face. He exudes it. Othertimes, I’ll hear “You do so much for Bear.” Bear and I have always known that the OTHER person’s goal was to make US happy and strong. In that context, it’s easier to give to our partner and for us to stay together.

All that said, the realist in me knows nothing is ever for sure.

su-su-su-su-such a long time long time

So I disappeared for about a month. During that time we had our neighbors over for meals. It’s kinda awesome having people that are so nice come over and hang out and eat. Bear and I really appreciate them. They all live across the street. The neighbor directly across from us pretty much keeps to her family and isn’t so fun to talk to. So our favorite neighbors are a lady across and to the left. She’s lives alone and works from home. I’ll call her Left. Across and to the right are the happiest couple I’ve ever met. I’ll call them Mrs Right and Mr Right. We shared the wonder of ackee and saltfish with Left. She’s Bear’s favorite neighbor I think. Mr and Mrs Right came over for steaks and a football game after they got back to the US from a funeral in Europe. They are the kind of people who are genuinely interested in people. So they thought my spinning was kinda fascinating and our TV was awesome and the steaks Bear made were the best ever. They are a joy to be around.

I’ve also been spinning on the fiber pictured here on the same wheel in that post. I finally finished the whole whack of it. 8 oz split across 2 bobbins. 2 ply, low twist on the singles and high twist on the ply. It drapes like you wouldn’t believe. I hated spinning it. The silk got EVERYWHERE and the fiber just felt too droopy. I like it a lot more now that it’s yarn. I’m sure I’d love to knit with it, but I think it’d be awesome to sell. There’s about 1200 yards of fingering weight. That’s an incredible whack of fiber and would be great for a project. I’ll probably take pictures later.

So I basically spun 8oz of 50/50 merino silk in the last month and then plied it and I found out that my wheel spins like a dream. Worth every penny when I’m spinning the wheel to the right. The second I try to ply/spin to the left, it turns into the crankiest bitchiest little beast you’ve ever met. I think the wheel needs to be named Jekyll and Hyde. I messed with the wheel and then I googled and the I went on ravelry and finally I think I might have an answer. I need a second drive band to spin in the opposite direction. I hope. If I don’t find a solution, I’m probably gonna be kinda upset. As much as I love my Fricke, I was hoping that could become the training wheel for my mom or someone (if I ever found anyone who wanted to learn how to spin). For now it’ll have to be my plying wheel.

Linda, the title is from the song Stuttering by Ben’s Brother.

maybe i won’t die alone

My father showed up over an hour late and didn’t say hello to my mom. He didn’t want to eat with us so I went and grabbed food and mom ate in the other room and Bear in his office. These rooms are all mostly open to each other, so we could all hear and partially see each other. My dad and I were sitting at the table in the middle while I ate. We were talking about his trip to Peru and knitting and fiber arts and culture. We were stilted and awkward the way you can only get with family that you are estranged from. Then my father gets ridiculous:

“So are you planning on knitting any little things?”

“Little? Like what?”

He gives me this funny look like I’ve spoiled his joke. “Like booties”

I burst in laughter. “Very subtle dad.”

He leaves shortly after that. I swear Bear and I are half convinced he came only to make sure he hadn’t become a grandfather and didn’t let us know. I kinda wonder if every two years he’s going to check back and keep making sure. Funny that he doesn’t realize I would actually make the effort to let him know.

(Linda, title is from Die Alone by Ingrid Michaelson. This blog and the song and freaking everything keeps linking back to the anon doc’s blog post.)