Saturday, August 30, 2008


Greetings sports fans! Just wanted to let you know that hubby and I are off in San Diego, visiting our baby girl. Just to make you Texans jealous, let me point out that the highs here are only in the low 70's right now, and it dips down in the 50's at night. We went to the Star Trek exhibit today at the Air & Space museum in Balboa Park (I'm the lone sane person in a family full of geeks - ALWAYS outvoted!), and we now have pictures of ourselves on the bridge of the Enterprise, and also one that shows us being beamed up, if you wiggle it back and forth. Maybe I'll share those with you when I get home. Well, TTFN. Here's hoping Gustav doesn't prevent us from flying into Houston on Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I, I am certain, that there are some people who resent the fact that I have mostly just worked part-time. I'm not sure how to explain this without going on the defensive, and sounding like I am making excuses. All I can really say is, we've tried it all three ways, and this is what worked best for us.

As many women found out, once the 60's allowed them to move into the workplace right alongside their husbands, balancing any kind of professional life with home, family, husband and creative pursuits is a very difficult juggling act indeed. Balancing two high-powered careers, where both partners were expected to work extreme hours, and to pull up stakes and move at the drop of a hat, is next to impossible, especially if kids are involved.

Twice now, when we have been living in Indonesia, I haven't been able to work at all. I was somewhat unhappy because I was bored, felt like I was wasting my talents and my brain, and I resented feeling like a kept woman, and having to ask my husband for money just to buy him a gift. I also felt presumptuous making financial suggestions, even though, of the two of us, I was much better at budgeting and saving. The odd thing is that John also resented my jobless status, even though it was entirely his fault! Once again, I had dropped everything to follow him to the ends of the earth, because it was important for the advancement of his career. We were making more money than we knew what to do with, despite my lack of contribution. And, I had no choice whatsoever in the matter, because we wives weren't allowed work permits in Indonesia. Although most families we knew there had two or three live in employees, to take care of their every need, I chose to do all my own cooking and child-raising, and made do with one part-time helper, and still, John left for work feeling pissy each morning, though he had a pretty good sense of humor about it.

On the other hand, when we came back to the states the first time, before we had kids, and I finally got to take a job related to my degree, that opened up a whole different can of worms. I had majored in Clothing, Textiles and Fashion Merchandising, and my first job was managing a clothing store. I absolutely loved it in the beginning. For one thing, I discovered that I was really good at it. I adored doing the displays, and merchandising the store. I had a knack for handling my teen-aged employees, enjoyed being treated with such respect, and I really got off on receiving both verbal and monetary praise from my peers and superiors - something I seem to need and crave, and which one rarely receives as a wife or mother. The downside was that I ended up working 60 hour weeks most of the time, including many evenings, most holidays, and every Saturday. John was not so crazy about that. He hated coming home to an empty house and kitchen. He hated doing housework. He hated the fact that I was rarely available to attend his company functions. Most of all, he hated spending all his weekends and holidays alone. Most people think I gave up that job because the hours were too exhausting, but mostly I think, I was worn down by his disappointment, though he never once asked me to quit, and always said I should do whatever made me happy.

I quit working full-time when Alexis was born, but was able to work as a seamstress from home. After Austin came along, I did part-time work for a caterer, evenings and weekends, when John could be with the kids. When the kids were in school, I discovered contract merchandising, which was very flexible, and allowed me to set my own hours. By the time they were in high school and college, I was the visual merchandiser at a garden center. Not so flexible, but still not full-time, and much more challenging and interesting. I was back working in retail, but with no holidays or weekends, and best of all, no dealing with customers! Gradually we came to realize that we had reached a good compromise. I was half June Cleaver, half Rosie the Riveter, and that seemed to work just fine for us. Yes, we could have traveled more, had nicer cars, a bigger house, and sent our kids to private school, had I worked full-time, but for us, it wasn't worth the tradeoff.

Right now, however, I seem to be the one who is having difficulties. John was very encouraging when I told him I was finally ready to quit my job and move to Wimberley, to have more time for writing, and he hasn't complained once about my paltry earnings. But, who knows when, or even if, my writing will ever bring in the kind of positive rewards and feedback I need, to keep from feeling like a kept woman again. It would be much easier if he were retired now, and I didn't have to feel so guilty about him going to work every day, while I am here, living the good life. In fact, know what would really rock? Some day being able to let John experience being a kept man!

(Thanks to winnipegfreepress2 for the June Cleaver pic!)

Monday, August 25, 2008


There's been a new arrival at our favorite Wimberley eatery, The Leaning Pear Cafe. No, Rachel and Matthew haven't had their baby yet. The new addition is this cute little building that has been constructed at the rear of their vegetable garden. Can you guess what it is? No, it's not a garden shed. It's a Baby Shed! This is where the littlest Buchanan and his or her caretaker will hang out during restaurant hours, so that Mom and Dad can hop in and out whenever they please. Sounds like a brilliant plan to me!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I have always had a problem with Sunday afternoons. They are especially difficult when you have just spent an unusually wonderful weekend, or when you are coming back from a great vacation. Sunday afternoon is that panicky feeling you get, when wondering if you've done everything that needs to be done before heading back to work or school on Monday. It's coming down from a Saturday high, and settling into dull routine, or saying goodbye to a long-distance sweetheart. So, it's easy to understand why one might get a bit blue. What I can't understand is why I'm still having a problem with them, when I have no job or classes to report to on Monday, and it's Wimberley I'm coming back to, for pity's sake!

I went into a funk the minute I left Houston last time, stayed in it for the entire drive home, and right up until I climbed into bed that night. Part of it, of course, is having to leave John behind, but not all. I even experienced this after coming back from my two week care-taking exile in Dallas! I think it must be that, on weekends, and when you are away from home, you are somehow able to shut off that part of your brain which stresses out over the woes of the real world, or over that ever-increasing to do list on your desk, or over where you want your life to go, and how you are going to accomplish that. Then, on Sunday afternoon, the gate swings open, it all comes rushing back over you, and it always takes you a while to get it sorted out again, compartmentalized and prioritized. Or, at least, it does for me. If only I could figure out a way to do this in my sleep Sunday night, then I wouldn't have to keep wasting one fourth of a perfectly good weekend!