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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Washer and Dryer

Teresa and I got a great Christmas present this year...  a new washer and dryer pair.  Our old set had been with us for a very, very long time.  They have run a bazillion loads of laundry over the years.  There were only some heat cycles that still worked on the dryer, and the washer tub was rusted and raggedy around the edges.

Our new, bright, shiny pair are large capacity and low water use.  They have settings meant to conserve energy.  They can run a load of wash and get it dried in less time than it used to take to just run a load of washing.

Romantic!  Maybe not.  But it sure is nice to be able to do the family wash without having to wrestle the equipment first.  Loving it.  The gift that keeps on giving.


I Have a Cold

There is something so enticing about the winter break.  For people who teach, wholeheartedly and full out as I do, the winter break is a time to rest, relax, catch up, enjoy having a personal life, relishing all the leisure moments that are so rare in the whirl of teaching.  And I am jealous of that time.  I need it and want it.  I look forward to it.

I've been off, on break, since the 20th.  Classes resume on Thursday.  For the last six days, I have been a mess -- sick with a nasty cold, and sinus infection.  I saw the doctor on Friday morning, and was given a prescription antibiotic and an inhaler.  Both have worked to make me more comfortable and less miserable.  Today, I feel better than I have in just days...  but, I am still not well.

Just a few days left, and then it will be time to head back to school, and all the lovely, free, unscheduled days will be gone.  Days that might have been fun have been dedicated to being sick and pathetic.  It sucks.  I don't like it.  I'd stomp my foot and pout and insist that "it's not fair!" but to what end?  It is what it is.  One more reminder that looking "forward" is a silly waste of time and energy.  Better to take and enjoy whatever I can from each day as it comes.  After all, tomorrow, I might have a cold or worse...


Lessons Learned

I’ve no idea how exactly this will shape up in time, but then, I never imagined the way The Swan’s Heart, or The Heron Clan evolved over the years.  And maybe that is the beginning bit of “wisdom” earned in the passage of years:  The future is impossible to see or predict.  Whatever we might hope or plan or wish for, life will carry us on currents not of our making.  We float; tiny motes; on a great ocean.  Energy expended in an attempt to control the path forward into the unknown future is a waste.

So, I am just going to begin right here in this time and this place with what is on my mind tonight.  The year is coming near to its end, and it is customary to make resolutions for the new year.  I have never been one for the making of resolutions.  Promising myself that I’ll do better for myself in the coming year than I did in the year just past seems an odd mental construct.  I’m pretty sure that I have done the very best I could over the course of the years.  Likewise, I am fairly certain that I’ll continue to make choices I can next year.  So no resolutions.  Instead, I find I am in the mood to enumerate the things I have learned, for me.  And that is important -- I’m not here to judge or advise.  If there is anything I have learned to this point, it is that people choose for themselves regardless of what others might think of those choices.  I could make a very long list of times in my life when I ignored (and often resented) the well-meaning advice of friends and family. So, take it all for what it is worth.  

  • I’ve learned to stop apologizing all the time.  I think it is important to take responsibility when I’ve made a serious mistake.  In that case, the best, most sincere apology I can muster is appropriate -- and then I try hard to fix the mess I’ve made.  I’m all for stepping up and apologizing when it is appropriate, but I’m done with apologizing over and over for the same thing, and I’m really determined to lose that female cultural norm, “I’m sorry” that my generation learned to offer for just being and breathing and thinking.  If I’ve done no harm, I’m not apologizing for thinking and doing what I choose.
  • I’ve learned that there is no value in comparing my real life to what I can see of anyone else’s life.  Whether I know you in person or via some sort of cyber connection, I know that I can only know the parts of your life that you choose to share.  Because I share bits of myself with friends and colleagues, I am very aware that we filter what we offer to others.  Those boundaries are there for a reason -- or maybe for a number of reasons, and whatever those might be, the fact is that we cannot see to the insides of one another’s lives.  My life is mine.  It is constructed out of the choices I’ve made at every juncture along the way.  I believe as I do, and I think as I think.  What I can see of your life, of anyone’s life, is only a series of fragmented snapshots.  Because I can’t see clearly, I cannot reasonably compare.  And so I simply refuse to do it.  I will rejoice in your joys, hold you close in your sorrows, offer my hand in friendship and support if it is wanted.  I’ll be glad for those who can do the same for me.
  • I’ve learned that guilt and regret are emotions that produce no benefit.  I’ve tortured myself with regrets and guilty feelings for far too many things over the years (blame my Catholic upbringing for that one).  I’m not perfect, and I’ve made some stupendous mistakes.  I’ve hurt people and done the wrong thing -- and not just once.  There are no do overs.  If I could fix those blunders, and save the hurts, I would, but those moments have floated past me and into the story that lies behind me.  It is time to let the feelings of guilt and sorrow go, too.
  • I’ve learned that I need to pay attention to the things I want and need.  I’ve come to understand that it is OK to say “yes” to those things in my life.  Putting my desires on permanent hold isn’t good for me, and it isn’t doing anyone around me any favors.  I’m not about to turn into a self-absorbed, greedy, inconsiderate twit (I hope), but I think it is time to allow myself an afternoon out with a friend, or to refuse an invitation to an event that I’d rather not be part of.  Taking care of me is a good and healthy thing.
  • I’ve learned that I ought to love this body that I inhabit.  I think it is pretty common for women to denigrate our looks.  We are all confronted with the impossible beauties paraded in the media, and we learn, at a very early age, that we should have perfect hair and perfect teeth and perfect nails and perfect clothes.  We learn to blame ourselves for the shortcomings we perceive in our physical bodies, and we become convinced that if we only figured out how to subsist on the correctly restrictive diet, if we only managed to make time for that hour or two in the gym each day, if we only learned the intricacies of applying makeup or choosing the right accessories, then we too would be “good enough” to stand in the ranks of THOSE women.  Well, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to make the body I was given fit that impossible image, and I am done.  This body, these curves, this height, these teeth, this voice, this hair, these legs and shoulders, these scars and saggy places -- these are mine and I claim them.  This body has carried me this far, and I trust it to take me the rest of the way on this life journey.  It is mine and I will love it as it should be loved.  
  • I’ve learned that I am an accomplished, skilled, intelligent, capable person.  I tend to hold back and stay out of the limelight.  I am not an attention seeker, especially in my professional life.  I know the quality and value of the work I do, but I am pretty quiet about it with others.  I think it might be time to let that part of who I am to show more, shine more.  I’ve got skills and talents and experience to share.  There are no goodie points for being unnecessarily humble or modest.
  • I have learned that I am sometimes a little “crazy.”  Heck, there might be times when I am more than a little “crazy.”  I can get all the way to fucking nuts, and that is just the way it is.  Deal with it.  I am tired of feeling like my emotional reactions are somehow inappropriate, and I am done accepting the negative judgement of those who want to use that label, “crazy,” to make me back away from where I am in the moment.  I manage to take care of the things that need taking care of.  I play an active role in my community, family, and workplace.  Clearly, the crazies of which I am sometimes capable don’t keep me from being there for all those other folks, so on a day when I am feeling wobbly, I am going to insist that the world will not come crashing down if I just take a little time to unravel for a bit.  It might look messy to the rest of the world, but I’ll pull it back together.  I always do.
  • I’ve learned that everybody’s sexual choices are theirs to make, including mine, and it isn’t anyone else’s business how those choices are made.  I don’t want anyone judging my sex life, and I don’t think it is my place to judge anyone else.  Consent matters.  If everybody involved is fully and freely consenting, then it isn’t my business.  No slut-shaming. No gay bashing.  No “my way is better than your way.”  
  • I’ve learned to say what I think.  Once.  Mostly, I don’t argue anymore.  Winning the point isn’t the point in most circumstances.  Whether the conversation is between colleagues, family members, friends, or social media connections, there is seldom a need to reiterate anything I’ve said once.  Clarify?  Maybe.  Sometimes.  But, in my experience, the repeated effort to get heard, understood, and most of all, agreed with, just leads to conflict and feuding.  I don’t need it.  If I have something to say, I’ll offer it.  That’s it.  Take it or leave it.  It is what it is.  
  • I’ve learned that it is usually better to look for what makes me happy.  I am capable of feeling sad about things, but wallowing in sadness is yucky feeling.  Better to sing, hum, smile, and hug.  The world is full of sadness.  It is also filled with beauty and wonder.  I have learned that it is best to look at the lovely bits when I can.

Voicing the Crone

The new year approaches, and I look back and know how quiet this place has become. I've been mostly silent here as I have waited to know what it was that I might actually want or need to say.

What was, in the beginning, a "sex blog," of sorts is not that anymore.  The inevitable slide into aging is well begun for me, and the truth is that there is little that is sexy about growing older.  There is, perhaps, wisdom of a sort, but nothing juicy or sloppy as there might once have been.

I worried about the descent into crone-hood as I struggled in the weeks and months after my hysterectomy.  That was eight years ago, and I live more easily with the body I was given in the surgical suite that day.  It doesn't bring me ecstatic, orgasmic, eye-popping moments of wonder anymore (at least not very often), and I'd be lying if I claimed to be happy about that shift, but that might have come to pass in these years anyway.  The passage from fertile, sexy, vibrant woman to dry, seasoned, lined, and brittle old woman has little to recommend it, from my perspective.  Still there is no avoiding the inevitability of it.  We live.  We age.  We die.

I am not dead yet.  But this is no longer a "sex blog."  I am not willing, any longer, to put myself and my family here on display.  We are here and together and as fine as may be, but what is revealed in the archives here is part of our history and not part of our present.  I do not believe that my loves still read here, and I am quite sure that they will not write here anymore, much as I might wish otherwise.  So this place falls to me.  That being the reality, I want to retake this space for myself.  There are things that I think, and words that I would write, given space to do that.  And so, the new year will be my time to begin voicing the Crone.



The Best Christmas Card -- Ever!

I am not a fan of Christmas cards, generally.  They mostly seem like a waste of time and money.  Up until now, I'd have told you that my favorite Christmas card of all time was one that looked kind of like this --

But then...  Today, I got my very first ever Christmas card signed by Xander, himself.

And I am pretty sure my point of view on the subject of wasteful Christmas card exchanges has been forever changed...  <3 p="">


The Grandma Who Sends Boxes Full of Books

Ever since my young grandson was born, I have struggled with how I can be a presence in his life.  At the age of 4-1/2 years, he lives across the continent with his parents; a 1200 mile (2 long days) drive.  For the past year and a half, he has lived in the home of his "other" grandmother, and while she finds spending time with him annoying and unnerving, she has plenty of money and is able to regularly shower him with things.  There is no way that I can compete with that.  In fact, there is no way that I WANT to compete with that.  I am not interested in being the person who buys him stuff.  So... what to do?

Christmas is one of those times when I am challenged to find an appropriate gift that I think he will like, and that I like sending to him.  When he was very young, it wasn't hard.  There were lots of cute, fun, educational toys -- and I enjoyed finding something unique and interesting to give as a gift.  This year, it seems harder.

All of the toys that I find for boys his age seem dull and unimaginative; or they simply offend my sensibilities for one reason or another.  And yes, I am prone to not supply toys that I find "offensive" on whatever level.  Ask my own children.  They will be happy to tell you how they suffered through childhoods without toy weapons of Barbie dolls or video games that included violence.  Poor things.

Anyway, somewhere last summer, I began to gather a collection of interesting, fun, and beautiful children's
books -- until I came up with a significant pile of very nice books:

And then I finally figured it out...  I will become the Grandma that sends boxes of books!  I will hunt down neat and interesting and beautiful children's books, and I will send them off to my sweet young grandson.  They will be presents, but they will also give the two of us something to talk about.  As he grows, I'll find books to send that match his interests (like pirates) and others that might expand his interests.  All those fancy toys will have their day, but they will eventually fade away or fall apart.  I am hoping that the books will become good friends and treasures to be visited over and over and over; enjoyed and cherished well past his childhood; perhaps tucked away to be given someday to another generation of young ones...  my great grandchildren.  

It all makes me happy.



The Season

The little tree is up, lights twinkling.  Every year, as I put it up, I have mixed feelings...

It is such a homely little thing; all scraggly branches that are squashed and pitiful when I first pull it out of the box.  The little old tree looks just about as bedraggled as I feel as I stumble along toward the holiday season.

The transition from pathetic little fake evergreen to sparkly, quirky display of well remembered bits and pieces happens slowly -- so slowly that I hardly notice it at first.  I got new lights this year.  The old motley collection of various kinds of twinkly lights had really seen better days, and it was time.  I actually decided that last year when I took it down and put it all away.  I tossed out the old lights, promising myself that I'd get new ones for this season.  Of course, by the time I was ready to go this year, I had totally forgotten that.  I got the tree out and all the branches on it and sort of fluffed up.  Then I pulled out my boxes, and started hunting for the lights...  Hunting and hunting and hunting...  What the heck????

Yeah. Slow on the pick up.  I have CRS (Can't Remember Shit).

So.  The naked, pitiful tree sat there, on its little table for a couple of days until I could get out and buy some lights (because I REFUSE to enter into the Thanksgiving Day / Black Friday Shopping craziness).  With its bright new lights, that sort of look like the old-fashioned lights I remember from my childhood, the little tree was ready for decorations.

My ornament collection is "eclectic," to put it kindly.  There are ornaments that I painted by hand as a child.  There are cookie-dough ornaments that I made and painted with my own small children one year long ago when we had no money at all, and nearly everything was made by hand.  They are all dated and signed on the back; humble, sweet, silly little lumps of memory.  There are bright yellow and orange yarn pom poms that I made with my college roommate when we were both freshmen.  Living in a dismal old dormatory that had been converted from and old, old, old fraternity house, we were determined to have a Christmas tree that year.  We pooled our money and bought a long, skinny, very tall, but very sparse pine tree.  We hauled it back and propped it up in a bucket full of rocks.  We decorated it with those silly little, handmade yellow and orange yarn fluffs, and then strung popcorn and cranberries to make garlands to string on it.  It was a sight, but we loved it anyway.  Years later, long after I was married and working to raise my little ones; long after she'd gone on to become a wealthy engineer married to another wealthy engineer, A small package came to my door.  Inside were those same old silly decorations with a note:  "How many memories come tied with orange and yellow yarn?"  There are the shiny, gold, abstract angels; each with some sort of unidentifiable musical instruments.  They are tiny; only an inch and a half tall.  I have half a dozen of them; all different.  They were given to me by my brother, Gregg, who somehow thought that they were "queer."  "Just like me," he told me with a mischievous wink.  Gregg's angels fly proudly around my tree each year, and every year I keep the promise I made him as he lay dying -- "I will never forget you..."  And so many little oddities that have come, over the years from students.  I hang them all and remember Katie and Jacob and Samuel and Tim and Barby and Shelly and ...  So many young lives that have touched me along the way.

So the season has begun and, even better, today was a snow day.  No school.  We are home, tucked in warm and safe, with the cats and the trees -- watching the snow fall outside our windows.

Wishing you all the best of the season, Friends.

The Monster

Here it is -- "The Monster!"  Tom worked for two full days this week to unpack and dispose of packaging materials, and then assemble this beast.  It looks so charming and friendly, sitting there with its infrared heater and cheerful fireplace thingy.  Who would ever guess that this Monster nearly killed us both?

It really is nice to have, and we are enjoying it, but oh my ... what an ordeal!  I guess the truth is we need to keep in mind that we've arrived at "a certain age," and need to be more realistic about what we can and cannot do.  At least, we got this done before we reached totally decrepit old age :-)


Gravity Works!

Tom and I went out after the football game on Friday evening, and purchased a new media center with an infrared heater/fireplace insert.  The thing came in two GIANT boxes.  The bigger one of the two measured about 6-1/2 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 1-1/2 feet deep.  It barely fit in the back of our vehicle, even though we had the passenger seat pulled all the way forward as far as it would go.  The second box was smaller by comparison:  probably 3 feet by 2-1/2 feet by 2 feet.

The loading guys helped us get it into the car at the store, and I scrunched into the itty bitty space in the passenger seat so that Tom could drive us home.  We put the car in the garage and figured we would wrestle it all into the house on Saturday.

The biggest of the MONSTER boxes felt like it weighed about 500 pounds.  We rolled our sturdy little handcart out to the driveway and began trying to pull / drag / tug the monster box out of the back end of the car.  Luckily, there was a handy-dandy handle place right in the end of the box.  We grunted and pushed and pulled, but just couldn't budge the thing.  Finally, I grabbed hold of the handle in the end of the box with both hands, and gave it a determined tug.

The Monster box?  It hardly moved.  The little cardboard handgrip place tore completely apart, and I went tumbling backwards, swan wings flailing, and landed with an impressive thump on the concrete driveway.  I smacked my hip and my elbow pretty soundly, but fortunately, I managed not to hit my head.  I sprawled there for a few minutes, trying to catch my breath and gather my wits.  I think I scared Tom half to death.

No serious damage.  I spent the afternoon awash in the alluring aroma of Icy Hot, and completely whacked out of my mind on muscle relaxants.  When we woke up on Sunday morning, I was surprised to find that I really didn't feel too bad.  No ugly bruises, and only some minimal stiffness.

He wondered if it was maybe not a good idea to spank me under the circumstances -- maybe it would cause my muscles to spasm (ya think?).  So...   We got up.  We had breakfast.  We watched football.  It was a pleasant day, and a nice end to the long holiday weekend.  I felt disappointed about the not spanking, but also felt loved and cared for.  Funny how that works...