Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's a Gloomy, Glorious Day!

Rain! Gads how I love it, even if it leaves the skies overcast and gloomy. Angela and I have been out cutting shoots around the olive trees that line the western side of our yard between rain showers. There are five of them. We got the largest done a couple of weeks ago; three done today, and the last will have to wait until our big dumpster is emptied. Damp weather and hard work may not be the picture most folks see for a glorious day, but I do. I do because Angela have fun when we work together. There's a bit of kibitzing going on, along with a fair amount of "let me help with that," happening too. After all these years, we've got this job down to something of a science, so we work well as a team. These lovely trees are great shade trees, even though they are messy. They send up loads of shoots, and they drop olives for half the year. Yet I love them almost as much as I love gloomy, glorious days like today.

I also love working in my garden when it's damp out. I like the smell of the earth, and I like knowing I'm helping a plant grow better when I yank out a weed. It's nice to hear, "that' lettuce is really doing pretty well," from Angela too. This is the first year I've tried lettuce. We don't get much time for "cool weather crops" around here. Besides that, the rabbits, moles, gophers, and birds have a heyday in the garden too - not to mention ants and insects.

I guess I like being outside in general, unless it is way too cold or hot. We don't get many of the way too cold days, but we do get the hot ones. So, today was a perfect day. We got some of the rain we needed. We got another portion of a big job, the trees, done, and my small lettuce patch is weeded. I'm tired and happy. Now I must hit the grocery store before the kids come over for dinner. We'll have a nice steak, and we'll play with Brooke, and we'll catch up on what Aud and Daniel have been up to for the last week.

What more could someone ask from a gloomy, glorious day?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saved by the T!

Whew! Talk about being lucky, Angela saved the day again! Not only did she save the day, she saved our lives. On top of all that, she made us very comfortable as well! Okay, here's the story. You know we go RVing, and this past week was no exception. We had a lovely stay with the Rainbow RV group at Morro Bay. We had glorious SUN (which we don't see a lot of in Fresno), too much wind, just the right amount of wind, and perfect temps mid day.

The first day started out just fine except for a cold wind which pretty much ruined our evening gathering since it was outdoors. Because it was so windy, we pulled our 4 slides in (it was too noisy otherwise). When we did that, we noticed we had no heat in the front of the coach. After putting the slide in and out a couple times, everything was working fine again, so we went to bed. The next morning, Angela said she'd "worried through the night." So, she decided to "check it out." Good thing! What we had was a kinked gas line! I don't know if you know much about propane, but it's deadly - as is most gas when it gets out in an enclosed space. We hadn't sprung a leak yet, but because the hose flexed and kinked-depending on where the slide was, it was obvious it was eventually going to break/spring a leak/open a hole. Of course, it was Saturday, and we were in a small town we weren't familiar with. It was also 4:30 p.m. which meant anything open was likely to be closed in 30 minutes. Angela turned off the gas and set about removing the line. The RV folks told us of a local hardware store, and Angela dashed off to find them. The nice folks at this ACE Hardware (that's a plug folks) helped her get all the connectors and so forth. She was soon back to work replacing the whole thing, and redesigning how it would be routed so we wouldn't have the same problem again. After it was all said and done, she admitted, "I didn't think I'd be able to do that." That's a first for her! She can fix almost anything, and I just assumed, because of that, that she had worked with gas lines before! I was blithely unworried as I handed her tools and held the flashlight for her. As usual, though, she did a perfect job. So, she saved the day, our lives, and our comfort, as we'd have frozen our buns off if we hadn't had heat all night! She is a wonder, and yep, this is just another "Best Thing About Being Married to a T!" I am very thankful for her "can do" attitude, and her willingness to tackle new projects. Her mechanical abilities never cease to amaze me. She later said it was because she had so often replaced hoses on cars that she was willing to tackle this job without fear. Most of us "girls" don't have the experience with cars that most guys do, so again her "guy knowledge" came to our rescue - without the attitude though! Boy, am I lucky to be married to a T!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to Angela

Today is Angela's Birthday - well, one of them. It's the Anniversary of her SRS. There were a few years when she celebrated her "real" birthday, the date she began hormones, the date she began to dress full time, AND the date of her sex reassignment surgery. As you might imagine, being a woman, she expected gifts for each of these occasions. I indulged her initially, and then I began to whittle down the dates until it was just two - her natal day, and her arrival day. After we retired, she elected to maintain only her original birthday, as that is when her family celebrates it with cards, letters, and gifts.

I can't, however, let this day pass, because it is important in ways far more noteworthy than merely a date on a calendar. Officially, for sixty years, she existed in the wrong body. She hid herself. She hid from her parents, siblings, relatives and friends, and then she hid from her wife and daughter as well as more friends and colleagues. She became withdrawn, depressed, angry, and more and more unhappy with each passing year. Finally, she confessed to me. She was sure I was going to leave her, divorce her, and take our daughter with me. She was sure she'd loose her family and all her friends. Instead, she found - and freed - her true self.

She became a woman somewhat gradually, starting out as a closet cross-dresser, and then, after her dramatic revelation, she dressed openly. We joined Tri-ess, got counseling, and discovered that Angela's belief that she should have been born a woman was real. We began to follow the Harry Benjamin Standards as we moved towards her SRS. We had the help of excellent professionals, particularly our councilor and psychologist, Sally Hunt.

Her surgeon was a marvel, and we certainly recommend Dr. Brassard from Montreal, Canada. His clinic and staff are wonderful, and his recovery lodge is delightful. We both wish all who make this transition an equally outstanding medical team.

Now, Angela is ALL woman! She wears blue jeans and sweatshirts sometimes, and she isn't always in heels. Inside her, though, she's dressed to the nines - or even the tens or elevens, if you ask me. The reality is that she is happy. She IS Angela, and she's all mine. If this transition hadn't happened in 02, we would have been divorced, and both of us would have been unhappy. We would have lost our soul-mate, and we would be without our true selves. We are individuals, but we are part of a team, a twosome, and we are a couple. We couldn't be happier.

Happy Birthday, Angela, I love you!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holidays End

I don't have a job to return to like most folks do, so it's my Job Jar that tasks me now. It's filled with all the things I was going to do, meant to do, and should have already done. My single New Year's Resolution is to actually get after all of those.

My main Going-To-Do-Job is to watch what I eat. I lost 35 lbs last year, and I plan that this year will result in a like loss (four stars to Nutri System, but I can't afford them now that I'm not working). I've stayed under 150 in '08, and my '09 plan is to get down to - and stay under - 135 lbs.

My Meant-To-Do Job was finishing the inventory of the house. I got all but three rooms done, this year, even though I promised myself I'd do the whole house. Oh yeah, I should add that I hope to add the garage and shop building WHEN I finish the three rooms that are not yet completed. My biggest problem with accomplishing the inventory of a room is there are too many"stoppers." You know what they are drawers filled with all the things I can't seem to throw away. Emptying them isn't as easy as I want it to be, but I promise to accomplish the task, none the less.

The Should- Have-Already-Been-Done list is the "just for me" things that should've been added to my daily living plans years ago: more time reading, exercising, and writing. Well, this is the year they are going to happen.

The good news is Angela will be supportive. I like that. The bad news is she'll pester me to do them. I guess I like that too.