Category Archives: Family & Friends

Pollyanna finds her people

Lyda here.

Last night I finished re-reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I feel as if I found my homeland. It is a land of truly weird stuff and truly wonderful off-kilter people, and Jenny is our leader.

Also, I learned quite a lot of very bizarre and not-useful stuff, including things about taxidermy that I could happily have lived my whole life without knowing. See this post for my first crazy gushing fan post  review of this book.

Now that I’ve read it through twice, and injured myself laughing, I can loan it to the Sith Master, so that he can understand his mom better.

He promised not to lock me in the padded room.


Pollyanna counts her stitches – and her blessings

Lyda here.

I’ve been quilting for years. But Anna-Liza assimilated me into the knitting fellowship. Since then, I’ve knit scarves, and random rectangular things. But I’ve never followed a pattern. I’ve always just cast on whatever seemed like a good size and gone for it. With varying results.

Now, for the first time ever, I am knitting a pattern.

One where I have to count stitches and change from knit to purl within each row.

First. Time. Ever.

It took me three tries to get the gauge right, or semi-right. And then on the third try, I somehow accidentally increased by two stitches somewhere in the middle. That’s what I get for watching detective shows while trying to count.

So once again, it was frogged and I knit it again.

It’s supposed to be a dishcloth. That seemed like a big enough challenge for my first knitting pattern. Details and pictures to follow once I take some pictures and write down the yarn I’m using. Nothing like being prepared when I blog.

I’m done with it. And I still am not sure if it came out right. But it kind of looks like the picture on the pattern, so there it is.

Next I did a simpler dishcloth, and now I’m knitting a third with a different (very easy) pattern that I am making up on my own – we’ll see how that goes. So far it’s been frogged twice. But it’s kind of fun.

And today I’m counting my blessings as well as my stitches. Today’s blessing count includes:

  • The Sith Master – always. My son is the joy and the love of my life. On Mother’s Day, he took me to dinner and a movie. We saw Iron Man 3, my choice, and had a blast. Last weekend, we saw the new Star Trek movie. Life is just more awesome with him in it.
  • Anna-Liza, my BFF, fellow Pollyanna, and partner in mischief and adventure. If it wasn’t for the distance between here and Colorado, we’d still be getting each other into and out of trouble on a regular basis. In fact, we still do. Take that, Stupid Pointy Mountains!
  • The Irish Beauty, my dear friend who lives too far away now to go treasure hunting with me on the weekends, but who is always in my heart.
  • My siblings and family – awesome, every one.
  • My friends who took me into their home and made me welcome.
  • My co-workers, who keep things lively and fun.
  • The orange and black songbirds that have been nesting and flying around the condo and the parking lot at work. I think they are orieles, possibly this one. Beautiful!
  • The crazy, funny, loveable Disney Dog, who makes me laugh every single day.
  • And the fun of writing this blog. I love it!!

I’ll be doing the blessing count randomly as I think of it, and y’all should know that all of the above are givens each time. I won’t mention them each time, but they’ll be there on the list just the same.

But I digress…

Back to the counting! One stitch, two stiches, three…. ahahaha!

Pollyanna and the Siblings of Awesomeness!

Lyda here.

My siblings are in no way connected to Doom. They are in every way connected to Awesome.

Today is National Siblings Day. A good day to tell siblings – genetic or otherwise – how much they mean to you.

What do I mean, genetic or otherwise?

One of my own (genetic) siblings taught me something important about families, which was reinforced in my psychology studies.

There is your family of origin, into which you were born or adopted. Depending on the family, it could include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, ancestors – the whole family tree.

And there is your family of choice. These are the people that you choose as your family. This could include one or more partners, close friends, and mentors. A broader definition could include those to whom you feel a deep bond – whether or not you have ever met them, and those who inspire you –  artists, writers, spiritual leaders, political figures, and so on.

Sometimes both your family of origin and your family of choice enrich your lives. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, those from your family of origin are not in your life.

I feel lucky when it comes to family.

My family of origin includes my genetic siblings:  four brothers and a sister who enrich my life with love, laughter, and all manner of wonderfulness. My family has expanded to include one fabulous brother-in-law, two beautiful sister-in-laws, and a joyful abundance of nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.

My family of choice includes Anna-Liza and her family, Irish Beauty, and so many more, many friends, mentors, guides, and companions. I am lucky to have many amazing siblings this way.

And of course, any definition of “my family” starts and ends with my wonderful son, known on this blog as the Sith Master.

Today, I want to hug them all and thank them for being in my life.

I love you, family!

Pollyanna and the Dogs of Silliness

Lyda here.

As y’all may remember, I am currently renting a room in a friend’s condo, aka Chez Disney. To say that my friends enjoy all things Disney would be to miss an opportunity to use the word “obsessed.”

Their dog – aka Disney Dog – is a springer spaniel with more enthusiasm than sense. He believes that he is the undisputed ruler, not only of the condo, but also of the sidewalk and street outside. This means that neighbors, cats, and vehicles inspire a vocal concert from Disney Dog.

Disney Dog loves the sound of his own voice. Once he starts barking, he just keeps on for the sheer joy of it. He is completely capable of barking for an hour nonstop. Yes, I timed him. His bark sounds vicious, like he wants to tear someone apart. And his bark is not worse than his bite, as I can testify from personal experience. Just a minor misunderstanding. Or two. Ouch. He really would tear a stranger apart if only we would let him.

His hypervigilance could be comforting when I’m home alone, except for his habit of sleeping in my roommates’ closet where he can’t hear the passing parade. I think he uses the closet as a quiet place to unwind a bit, the dog equivalent of smoking in the boy’s room.

But maybe he has a secret exit. Maybe when I don’t know where he is he’s off being Super Dog, cape flying.

No capes!”  

Disney Dog would not be great in a zombie apocalypse. His frenzied barking would attract zombies. He would attack any potential human allies. He would hurl himself at the first zombie he saw, which would not end well. At best, he might distract the zombies while the humans make a run for it in the opposite direction. He is no Samantha.

Did I mention that I started a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Team at work? I’ve got a nutritionist/first aid expert, a martial-arts black belt/technology expert, and a scrappy fighter/funny chick. So far. It’s important to have people you like on your team, because the post-apocalypse might last a while. And no whiners. You need funny and resourceful people. My plan is that we bug out and meet up with the Sith Master at his dad’s house, where we make a long-term plan based on the situation.

One guy told us he won’t join, because he doesn’t want to live in such a world. Instead he volunteered to be bait while the rest of us escape. And y’all thought I was weird. I think he might change his mind when the time comes, but if not, well, we’ll make sure his sacrifice is not in vain.

Did I mention there’s a TV show called Surviving Zombies? Lots of good tips there.

Did I mention that I digress…?

Now, go read this post  about a more intellectual dog, on The Velvet Cerebellum – which is an awesome blog name and has nothing to do with fabric – and laugh.

* More Wisdom from Edna Mode.

Pollyanna is pensive

One of my beautiful and amazing friend-sisters wrote this poem.

On days like this, it sustains me. Bless you, Sherry.

In the moment of darkness,

When you forget who you are,

Unwrap the beauty of your breath

This is the gentle path to your heart

Feel the Love gently gift-wrapped in between each breath

That’s who you are,

That’s where you belong.


Breathe into the noises in your head,

Or outside,

Which tell you lies,

You are not this breath,

Faster or slower with fear,

You are not this breath,

Waiting to be acknowledged,

You are not this breath,

Gone when your ashes are one with the ocean and the earth,


You are the essence and the petals of the flower whispering “Love”.

And that always belongs.

–  Shahrzad Sami

Pollyanna Procrastinates… As Usual

Lyda here. I should be working on my homework, but I wanted to pop in and say hello. You say “procrastination”, I say “keeping in touch with my virtual friends”. Potato, Potahto.

And I do have a lot to report on. This time: Seattle.

The overnight trip to Seattle was just about the right length of time. A nice chat with my sister on the drive from the airport, then a family lunch at home, a long afternoon of talking to each other, and then out for Chinese food.

Most of the extended Seattle family was there – including two nieces I hadn’t seen since they were toddlers, a nephew I’d never met, the nieces’ two mothers, and the nephew’s mother. Oh, and my oldest brother who lives on an island, my sister, my brother and my brother-in-law (my brother’s husband) – who happen to have the same first name.

Are you confused now? My Gorgeous and Younger brother has three children via sperm donation, all in their teens now. The two girls live with their two mothers (who are married), and take it as normal that they have two fathers (my brother and brother-in-law). 

The nephew has a mother (and two other adult sisters who are not related to me by blood, but why stop adding nieces now?). He has only recently come into my brother’s life, as he wanted to meet his dad when he turned 18. Which is why this is the first time I met my nephew.

Oh, and my two oldest brothers (the one who lives on the island and the one who is a doctor) are technically my half-brothers, as they are the sons of my father and his first wife. And one of my cousins on that side is also their sister by adoption, as my father’s sister died while my cousin was young, and my father’s brother who was raising my half-brothers (their mother having died young also) adopted my cousin, so she is their cousin and their sister.

There. That’s clear, isn’t it? Our family tree is a bit… convoluted. But healthy.

But I digress…

With so many people on Saturday, maybe y’all can understand why I felt the need for a long walk in the rain on Sunday morning. Well, it wasn’t really raining when I left with my brother to walk to the store, but it was misting. I took my camera, and let him go off to the store without me while I took pictures of the neighborhood. By the time I got back to the house, it was really raining, I was soaked (note to self for next time:  take an extra pair of shoes so I’m not squelching in the airport), but I had some awesome shots and I had enjoyed the quiet beauty.

I was in time to say good-bye to my sister who was heading off to catch a plane to Africa. She works for a non-profit and travels to Africa a lot. Younger brother works for a non-profit too, as do I. Another family trend. Then it was time for their weekly Sunday brunch.

The nieces and nephew came, as did various and sundry friends. Apparently, all the regulars had been told that their attendance was mandatory, so I got to met a lot of people. A lot of people. And best of all, one of my dear friends came – he and my brother were best friends growing up, and I just love him. It was so much fun seeing him again after so many years – he hasn’t changed a bit, still funny and charming and wry and a great storyteller. The last time I’d seen him was at my wedding reception so very many years ago.

After the crowd left, another nephew who lives in Seattle came by. This nephew is one of My Brother the Doctor’s sons, and I hadn’t seen him in many years. He is now a nurse, and as always, quite funny and very relaxed. So that was excellent too.

It was more social interaction than I am used to getting in a year, and I was tired and talked-out by the time I got on the plane. But happy I went.

Not that I had much choice. When younger brother sets his mind to it, resistance really is futile.

Pollyanna Checks In – the wine is for loading only…

Lyda here.

Just a quick check in before I fly off to Seattle tomorrow. I’m only going overnight – an extravagance that I would never indulge in on my own. But Gorgeous and Younger brother insisted that I visit, and since he used his frequent flyer miles for the ticket, I realized – as always when younger brother has his mind set on something – resistance is futile.

The Zombie Army will of course be traveling in the baggage compartment. I hope the baggage handlers are quick on their feet, or there could be unplanned snacks for the horde.

But before I fly, I had to share with you this gem from a work email I just got, saying that a workshop will be great for parents, and I quote:

“and will be a great way to support that new mussel that we are developing.”

I’m glad our baby shellfish will get the support they need.

Just how do you support mussels? Create a “wine sauce free” zone?

Mmm… wine sauce…

Weirdness – It’s the only way to fly!