Tag Archives: family affairs

My Polyamory

I have intentionally not written much on this topic because about a year ago I went and posted a bunch of links and good info from other sites. There are so many aspects to look at and perspectives to consider that it is all just too much for me to even attempt.

However, Nathan suggested that I write at least once on my experiences and opinions on the matter. So, I’m taking his advice.

First and foremost Polyamory is many loves, a plural relationship based in a foundation of love.

From the view of a successful balanced poly family, I’ve not had much luck, at least in maintaining such a plural commitment. However, I have had lots of fine tuning and reevaluating, which Abraham says is always a good thing. I’m going to agree.

Nathan and I used to be, what gets labeled “Unicorn Hunters” by more forceful poly opinions. We were ‘significant-others’ seeking a single bisexual female to balance my bisexuality. After several failed attempts to find our good fit, we relaxed into accepting that our perfect woman might come attached to another person. It might also happen that we find several people to meet both mine and Nathan’s needs and desires.

Our hesitation with accepting the concept of multiples, initially was brought on mainly by fearful thoughts of: how do you get multiple adults on the same page and keep them in agreement and in cooperation. Especially regarding children in the family, rules of behavior, setting expectations, and even logistics of cleaning and cooking. However, at this point in our marriage we have come to the conclusion that those are challenges any relationship faces regardless if there are 2 or 12 people. We also now have lots of experience dealing with each other and multiple attempts at significant-other additions. We’ve also come to conclusions that some things are easier if approached like companies handle staffing: creating schedules and assignments of tasks, which can always be adjusted and changed as needed.

So at this point we’re much more open to alternate options and arrangements for our family structure, and have a better grasp of the interpersonal needs that entails. Our main goal now is that a variety of needs and desires are met, and that all adults act like adults and remain considerate of the family as a whole when making significant decisions. If those decisions are likely to impact the family in a huge way (move, replace belongings, or decisions regarding educational or medical concerns) then the family should be consulted with a proposal before final decisions are made.

Informed consent is a mainstay of poly whether it’s in regards to sex, reproduction, or any familial life event. Furthermore, informed consent requires a certain level of communication skills. You may have a great idea, but if you can’t make your case well to those involved it’s likely to fall flat.

So those elements have become our biggest priorities.

Beyond that, previous relationships ended due to factors involving but not limited to: personality clashes, instability due to processing previous traumas, and a lack of commitment by one or multiple parties. So we have simplified our request to the Divine that: future partners have their own stuff figured out at least well enough to cause only more minor bumps, previous severe traumas have been healed likewise, and that all parties be willing to commit enough to work through remaining glitches. All relationships have bumps, bruises, and fights, but it’s the severity and willingness to work through them that enable the relationship to last. Everyone coming together to learn and grow and heal, leads to happy long lasting family.

Acceptance of our humanness, and unconditional love allows for infinite growth. To me that means that I might get mad or frustrated with someone, but as long as I can refocus and remember we’re all human and that I do love them, then I can work through the upset to find a solution. That is the place of understanding that I aim for everyone in my family to hold.

There are also factors like honesty, openness, truthfulness, cooperative attitudes, and open mindedness which would be very important.

Finally, I wish to add compromise. A mainstay of finding solutions is learning how to compromise. There is almost always an answer that everyone can live with. It may not be perfect in everyone’s opinion, but gets the job done. Finding those compromises is paramount to maintaining family cohesion, and adults wishing to be in my family need to demonstrate an ability to compromise.

In conclusion, my ideal of Polyamory has evolved over the last 15 years to be less about the fine details and more about overarching qualities that I wish for people to exhibit.

Not to be too cliche, but can’t we all just get along, and all you need is love, would be the more concise mentality.

May you all find your family based in love and acceptance, but which committedly works through compromise to ensure everyone just gets along.

With love, be well. Siva Hir Su.

Meew… is for comfy.

That’s Missy, she’s comfy, very comfy.

This week has brought a lot of things. Mostly neutral to okay, but I’m doing my best to ignore the few negatives and focus positively.

The best part of this week was having a couple of days that I could sleep in and spend with children. It was very nice, even if it meant I couldn’t move much. A king sized bed is useless if 4 littles keep you trapped in a one foot section of it! Priss, Buddy, and Missy are great at strategically stationing themselves where Katherine isn’t, to ensure I won’t be moving. See:

I was able to spend time with little Ian playing with trains and Lego’s, we went to the park and dog park and took walks.

Zen puppy has gotten good at keeping his herd of people from wandering too far apart. It’s very adorable.

We were privileged to see Big Ian in his performance as part of a Coterie Theatres teen camp production of “Spamalot”, which was very funny, and amazingly well done, especially considering it was a handful of teens with only 2 weeks of learning and rehersing.

It also turned into a pseudo date waking around the Plaza area since we were dressed up for the occasion.

And baby is doing great still too. 3 months old, perfect health, growing great, and learning fast. She’s now able to walk at a normal pace for a toddler, as long as she’s got hands to hold and either naked or disposable diaper. When she figures out balance, we’re screwed, in the best possible way! … I didn’t help matters, in that respect, by finding a baby walker at the thrift store. Now she can even practice without help. Oh my.

And yes she has; she took a few steps in the store, and today she worked on figuring out it goes other directions than just forward.

She’s also started laughing, though it’s more of a giggle so far, and kitties are now fascinating to her.

All in all its been a good week and I’m mostly enjoying life again. More mantras definitely helped, but mostly I think it’s my concerted efforts to focus on positives and find quiet mind periodically.

May all of you have comfy pleasant weeks.

Wishes and Dreams

Today the work theater presents “The Greatest Showman”. I’m only 15min into my resident-sitting-movie-gig, and it’s a reminder of the threads that have kept me going. My wishes and dreams.

It seems that my wishes and dreams may be working their way into reality. That reversie card I wrote about, may be finally at play.  It seems the messages from the divine (or simply the other side) are getting louder.

The last week brought messages from my friend’s late uncle about her grandfather’s ill health. He worked very hard to warn her using me as the middle woman. It took days to figure out because I knew they were messages, but it wasn’t until I started showing her pictures of the messages that she put the pieces together. She’d sent me a copy of a picture of the uncle to show me who was communicating, and later in the evening his picture (on my phone) opened itself right as she was being informed grandpa was being taken to the ER.  It was eerie, but fascinating validation. Luckily by morning she learned that grandpa had a very treatable temporary setback. He’d be okay.

That was in the midst of finishing my portion of my taxes to get them turned into my accountant. I really hope she’s able to work the same magic as years before, because between baby and moving we’ll really need a decent return.

Speaking of moving, that’s part of the reversie card. 

We never did find an adequate yet affordable home. However, my friend (Hannah) with the talkative deceased uncle, has offered their home, and to simply split the existing costs. 

We’ve been friends for several years, but lately we’ve discovered how intensely we share goals, hopes, dreams, skills, preferences, and even health challenges. We grok each other, an understanding on a deeper level. We’ve gotten very close, and I feel like she’s family in my heart. So, when they offered their home, and even to help make necessary adjustments to accommodate us, I couldn’t say no. I feel like it’s an honor to have her support and love. I can’t see the full puzzle being put together yet, but definitely feel like she’s a very important piece, and one I’m glad to call family. I definitely feel my heart blossoming and growing with more love for a greater family than I could have imagined. 

I’ve shared with her my thoughts on all my previous messages and including the picture with the elephant figurines and the happenings with the boy, and she is in agreement. She agrees that he’ll eventually return and I just need patience and to keep my hopes and dreams alive. 

What’s more is what she’s found in helping prep for our full move in. She’s found her bulbs of the ‘Lily of India’-5 of them, she’d already planned on planting them, but they’d already begun to sprout in the cellar storage. 

Then there was the elephants her grandmother played with as a child. She knew they existed, but as she was sorting belongings she found them, 5 to be exact.

It gives me goose bumps and spine shivers every time another sign like that shows itself. It’s validation that I’m not crazy and that at least some things I see are indeed messages. I look forward to seeing the full manifestation of all of these divine signposts. To that end I keep repeating “my miracle is on its way, just keep believing”.

It was one such moment that I realized the car in front of me had a plate that said “4SHIV”. I snapped a picture and sent it to Nathan and Hannah to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. (I’d put it here, but I don’t have their permission and the photo would give away their state which could jeopardize their personal information.) Regardless, both Nathan and Hannah validated it very much said what I thought, and we all had an OMG’s moment. I pointed out, there was enough characters for the A on the end of Shiva. I was left with a strong sense it had to be for me because the shortened version isn’t commonly used here.

 It was very much a perfect alignment of astronomical odds that I know was a message for me from the divine. For that I am forever grateful. It’s those seemingly small kernels that mean massive amounts to me and help me get through this chaotic time of 3rd trimester diet craziness, moving, working an insane amount, squeezing in taxes, and then doing my best to have at least a few minutes of quality time with my kids before falling over from fatigue each night. It will all be worth it when my growing family is using our miracle to build Atira.

I very much look forward to that. Those will be wonderful days.

Slow going progress.

So I’ve been a bit behind the last 2 weeks. Between trying to find a good dosage of my thyroid meds and just being overwhelmed and overworked, I just haven’t had the energy to sit down and blog. Since that is the case, I figured I better use my computer- that’s right all of my previous blogs were from my phone! Anyway, I thought that might just be safer and produce words more quickly.

So, update on the progress we’ve made over the last 2 weeks. Last I wrote, I believe we had almost finished demolishing the interior walls. Here are a few shots of that, which my Husband took.

That last picture there was us trying to move the piano over. It was HEAVY! So needless to say we didn’t get anywhere with that.

The following week we did actually finish taking down all of the interior walls. Nothing left but the outside walls!

The bathroom was the hardest. We wanted to remove everything except the plumbing, mainly because I’m salvaging that to save money. So, we had to be very careful to get all of the fixtures down- electric and plumbing, and then walls down, without damaging the pipes. It didn’t help that at some point(s) the tub was “re-done”, and there were literally layers of paneling with a base of plywood. All water damaged. One layer of paneling was the painted fake tile- not actually water resistant, by the way. So, it was crumbly and moldy, but attached to the plywood with liquid nails. I found that extra interesting because despite the corners that were cut with placing the paneling, no such luck was in play with the plywood itself- I counted 14: 3 inch screws that took multiple rounds of sledging from both myself and Nathan before they finally turned loose. The most hilarious part is once we finally got that wall down, the floor was toast. The sub-floor had rotted years ago and was “fixed” on either side of the wall with patches of plywood, so when the wall came down we could literally see the ground below.

Needless to say, as to be expected with any project like this, you always discover things needing attention that you might otherwise have hoped would be fine. In this case, I tallied up about 6 sheets worth of sub-floor needing replaced. I don’t do things half-ass-ed, never have, and I’m not going to start now. If it needs done, so be it. It might just take me a little longer to get everything paid for and completed.

Then following that, we (Nathan and I only) proceeded to rip down the insides of the Exterior Walls. The first sheet of paneling came down exposing the insulation- we’d already put on the respirators in preparation for that. I still don’t want to risk asbestos exposure. All this work, I better get to enjoy this into ripe old age. Then we pulled down a second sheet of paneling to make insulation removal easier.

Ok, got the contractor bags out and set up the bag stand so we could just roll up the old insulation and put it directly into bags. Great! Lets Go! Pull out the first piece of insulation….. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! WTF! WHAT am I looking at?

This:

That means that in the 1970’s trailers were built far below current construction req’s. Just so you know, current standards are: you build your stud walls, coat them in plywood, then wrap the outside of the plywood in plastic sheeting such as TyVek or similar, and then put up the exterior covering- be it vinyl, metal or wood siding. So, again I see myself adding up new figures. 66 sheets of plywood that I hadn’t thought I would need- roughly $700 worth. Yippie! Right?!

Ok, so keep going. We wrap around the end of the trailer to the opposite long side, when we get a fourth of the way down that side, we realize that we’re looking at dimples all over the siding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We go outside, the whole north side (long side) is covered in them, and a couple of them were so deep that they broke through the siding. I hadn’t noticed them before, but I hadn’t really examined that side of the house very well, only having been on that side a few times. We ask; they tell us about 4 years ago there was a storm that went through with fist-sized spiky-hail. It had broken all of the windows on that side, so they were fixed with plexi-glass, but the siding was left alone.

So, now I have a decision, keep what’s good of the siding and try to find some that matches enough for a good coat of paint, or just replace all of the siding. That would mean that everything would be brand new, exactly what we want, and have a very long life span; it would also mean that I’ve got another couple thousand dollars of materials to pay for. I like the latter better, but ARGH, REALLY- more money to spend. Like I need more things to figure out how/when to pay for them. Oh well, I guess.

So, keep on trucking. We did as much as we could that day, and realized that things need moved to finish tear down of the interior. The next work day, we got help, borrowed a trailer, and moved the enormous super heavy piano, deep freeze, barrel of grain, and massive cast iron cook stove out of the trailer and into storage. That was enough work for one day- I was exhausted, did I mention they were HEAVY? The up side, the trailer was looking very sparse. The only objects remaining: fridge, stove, water-heater/pressure-tank, Jacuzzi & sinks, Wood Heat Stove, and construction materials/tools. Now we’re getting somewhere.

The next day, we went to a different friend’s house to work on cutting down a dead tree to build up our wood stores for next winter.

 

That’s the first felled part of the tree on the left- there’s about 6 more trunks of the cluster to be felled yet. On the right: the piles are what we had done after about 3 hours of cutting and cleaning up. I didn’t take a photo of the tiny twigs- that pile was huge, but at least we’ll have plenty of kindling. Anyway, we only did the 3 hours, because after moving heavy stuff the day before, that was all we could handle physically. I promised them we’d be back on the following Monday to finish that part, and that we’d keep working on the whole tree until it was all down. I made such a promise because I know we’ll need the wood next winter. Might as well plan ahead and have seasoned wood for just the cost of labor. My estimates are that we’ll end up with enough for us, and then possibly enough extra for the friend that gave us the trailer. That’s good.

So, slow progress. My goal is to finish tear down this Sunday, and get sub-floor repair and plumbing started the following. We only have 3 workable weekends left if we’re still moving April 1st, so this Sunday will determine that. If we can’t finish tear down this Sunday, I will probably have to postpone the move date- an idea I detest, especially since I don’t know if our landlord would be willing to pro-rate for half a month. I really don’t want to stay  a whole month longer.

Keep those fingers crossed for us!

And so it begins…

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That’s the free trailer. … needless to say,  it won’t look like this when we’re done.

Goal: 3 bedroom,  2.5 bath, loft & attic space.
Estimated move in: April 1st

Demo & plumbing need completed by move in. That’s 6 viable weekends for us.
With 1 weekend to visit (grand)parents (already  scheduled last fall), & 1 weekend to completely move out of our apartment   (mostly into storage).

This has  been the first day of any real work. Previous weekends were bitterly cold & resulted in mostly surveying the project & packing up odds & ends left by previous people.

There are still 3 large objects to go,  but those will wait on  a storage unit & the one burly guy strong enough to lift them.

Today’s work: walls come tumbling down!

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Nathan (husband) & daughter surveying my wall removal progress.

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My daughter really enjoyed sledging away on the old cabinets. I knew from experience that mobile home cabinets were traditionally stapled together,  that surprised her & Nathan.

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I quite enjoyed destroying things today.  It was very cathartic.

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We didn’t destroy everything though.  We salvaged most of the trim,  & some of the paneling. In the rebuild it will all get sanded, patched, & painted & look good as  new.

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At the end of the day we had all but 3 interior walls down.  Those 3 had enough screws that I’ll need to bring my drills next weekend.
We even got about half of the kitchen cabinetry demo’ed.

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All in all,  I’d say it was a very successful day.

Yet,  many more to go.

Demo always goes faster than rebuild.  & in this rebuild I’ll be upgrading construction quality.  I want a  lasting home,  made under the best guidelines. Energy efficient,  warm,  comfortable,  & comforting. I’ll be adding layers to the bones of this house. 

Exciting,  yet terrifying.  All of this & using just the money we’d usually use for rent & fun stuff.  It really will  be a little at a time.  I hope my family still looks this excited & happy when we’re months into the project!