IMG_0842Christine here.  I always seem to turn to this blog when I have something to complain about.  I try to also throw in something interesting about braiding, also, but really I just want to b—-.

So, today is my birthday.  My husband and I share a birthday, although 9 years apart.  (Usually at this point in the explanation, my husband usually cuts in and says, “She’s a cougar.”  Which I am not:  he’s older. )  In any case, we discovered that we had the same birthday on our second date, which was in the middle of a game of Pictionary that we were playing at a house party, when I lived with 4 other young women in a ramshackle old beautiful house in West Philadelphia.  We each pulled out our driver’s licenses to verify that yes, we both were January 15.  It is sort of amusing, but not really that interesting.

Our usual approach to our birthdays is that, at some point today, John will say to me:  “We should go out to dinner.  To celebrate.  You know, our birthdays.”  And I’ll say back, “Yeah, we should do that.”  That’s usually as far as it goes.

We used to love to go out to dinner.  When I lived in Philly and he lived out in Haverford, he would drive in and we would go to some ethnic place — Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Palestinian, etc.  Since I veered toward vegetarian, and there were more likely to be good options in the ethnic restaurants, we tended to go to those places.  Besides, I’ve always liked ethnic food, and Philadelphia is wonderful for ethnic food.

Then we moved to Pittsburgh in the early 1990’s.  I have slowly come to appreciate Pittsburgh, but when I first moved out here, I was a bit dismayed.  Although now Pittsburgh is known as a “foodie” place, back then, it was a food desert — for the ethnic food that I liked, that is.  There were a couple moderately good Chinese places, and some too-oily Indian places, and that’s about it.

With John’s grad school and my residency, we just couldn’t find the time to go out, and when we did, we were disappointed.  Then we had kids and ate at Wendy’s and Chuck-E-Cheese, and the Burger King with the play land (yes, I was one of those bad Happy Meal mothers).  Due to my son’s persistently abysmal tastes (mac & cheese, pizza) we haven’t gotten much further than that.  We have one restaurant that is our Go-To place for fine dining when we have parents or cousins or other guests in town.

So what am I complaining about?  I’m complaining about myself.  I am just sick to death of my own lassitude, and even laziness, in making efforts toward doing some of the things that my husband and I used to do together — going out to dinner, going for walks in the evenings, just doing things together.  The guy isn’t getting any younger, which his birthday is reminding me of.  I need to pay more attention to him.  He is my husband, after all.

Yes, I’m busy.  I seem to spend the days running around like crazy.  Last night I came home from a weekend away (braid guild meeting),  with the intention of helping my son pack last night for going back to college today.  Of course he had put off doing laundry until last night, and wouldn’t you know that our 10 year old washing machine died last night?  So we had to pack up all of Jack’s laundry and go out to a laundromat last night, in the cold and ice and snow.  So it wasn’t an evening at home at all.

Today, Jack and I are doing a Target run for shampoo and soap and a new sweatshirt, and then heading up to school moving him back in, making his bed which he still pretends that he has never learned to do, and then I’ll head back home.  My daughter is still home from college for another week, and the my husband and daughter are close, so they’ll probably be out somewhere together when I get home.  I’m angry already about coming home to an empty house, and on my birthday, of all things.

I think I need to spend a little more time paying attention to the details of my marriage, and setting up things that we can do together.  I’ve always delighted in the fact that we were so comfortably independent — he flies off to his astronaut and space-oriented events, and track events, and I drive or fly off to braiding events.  But I think we’ve gotten to the point that we just don’t do anything together anymore, except live in the same house.  We’re not unhappy… we’re just sort of preoccupied with our own things.

I need to work on that.

And, I need to finish the newsletter issue, and get to work on my Challenge Rug, and get to work on some of the handouts for classes at the braid in….

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Ocean Waves Border: one of my classes I’m teaching at the braid in.

But what I’m really interested in at the moment is scrolls.  I’ll be teaching the class on the “Ocean Waves Border” at the braid in, which is two S-shaped braids that inter-link.  And I worked on the 6-braid scroll for the upcoming newsletter — although I think it’s a bit complicated and will probably hold off on the directions for anything other than the 6-braid spiral.

IMG_0895.jpgI think the rug that I’m going to make for the “Contemporary Braided Art Rugs” exhibit will be something that has a lot of spirals and scrolls, perhaps in a sort of Persian Rug kind of design.  We’ll see…