stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The weekend has been lovely. Busy, of course, given the holiday, but lovely. I slept my weird schedule and am tired now after getting up only eight hours ago - but I JUST found the PIN for my online library account so I can't go to bed yet, right? And I've got fabric in the washing machine shrinking before I turn it into a 12thNight gift. Sports cloth - it is so tricky. After two hot washings and dryings, it may come out with a decent hand. Luckily, it is for a surcote so a little stiffness won't hurt. (Heh. autocorrect flipped over 'surcote'. I've had this computer for five years and I never got around to adding that word to the dictionary? Shame on me!) It is a perfect 'Atlantian Blue' so I hope the recipient will be happy with it.

We had friends over yesterday and today. I think that is why I'm tired; peopled out. But it was fun. We need new games to play though. We have six we play regularly and that isn't enough. The hard part is finding ones that will appeal across the board. A couple of our 'regulars' are anything but intellectual - media-stream action movies are their candy so games which require more than a superficial knowledge, strategy, or words leave them cold ("Quiddler" is rarely approved for playing, and then mostly to make Bossman and I feel good). I'm thinking of "Uno". I'd like to come up with something else that would work for a group of 5 or 6 players.

We will have two different card-playing groups in the future. One person, who brings a friend, has decided that they do not wish to be around another person... it isn't a case of emo-crud but rather the hygiene and manners of the shunned one. I understand the motivation of the shunner and cannot fault them for putting their comfort-level in the fore, but it doesn't simplify things for me. I swear to the Gods I am about ready to start a 'new' group and only keep two of the original players! So There! (Huff!)

Nah, I wouldn't do that. This will pass or be resolved in time.
stitchwhich: (Humility the Manx)
Shortly after kittenhood she changed into a standoffish loner. She didn't want any foods other than her dry kibble. Bribes were met with a withdrawn jerk of the head before she stalked off. She didn't want to be petted, groomed, or picked up. She didn't allow any new animals into our home. She couldn't be trained - even litter box etiquette became increasingly difficult to for her to maintain. She hated the outdoors. She hated visitors. Even our sons, who she grew up with, became 'visitors' once they moved out. She would hide from them under the couch and hiss if they came near.

We lived ten years with only her since she would not allow any other pet into the house and in that time, at best, we merely co-existed - ignored, for the most part, unless one of us happened to be eating a Cheese Nip or Cheetos. For that, she was willing to approach and stare at us until we gave her one small bit. No more than a small bit, mind you. Anything more was haughtily refused.

But her whole life she did seek out whichever one of us was alone in a room and lay on the ground somewhere nearby, purring. So each night she was my nearly-silent companion in the library, hiding somewhere with only her purr to let me know she was around.

Today she took her final rest.

And I cried like a baby the whole while. I don't know why.
stitchwhich: (Waiting)
Two weekends ago I drove for five hours to attend an SCA event called "Atlantian University" - a daylong classroom event with (usually) 8-12 classrooms set up to host 1-2 hour classes about medievally-related subjects throughout the day. As well as sundry "how to do your SCA job" ones thrown in along the way. (The five hours back was much harder on me than I expected. Perhaps 'ten-hour daytrip drives' are not as much of a good idea as they were when I was younger.)

One of my Apprentices rode with me as well as my oldest BFE (Best Friend Ever), who kept the conversation going by asking the occasional off-beat question. One she asked my Apprentice was, "Where do you see yourself five years from now?" and it hit me pretty hard - harder than it did the respondent.

I haven't been thinking about "The Future" for a very long time. Not in any useful manner, at any rate. To tell the truth, I've never expected to actually reach 'the future', old age, in any case. My health never lent itself to the making of plans or of envisioning such a thing as a real possibility I'd have to deal with in my life.

The question has caused me to look at our home, our hobby, and our finances in a new light. For example, I'd been haphazardly clearing out this and that for the last couple of years after seeing what my adult friends had to deal with when their parents passed on and thinking about what it would be like for our children to have to pack up/clear out our home once we did too - but now, well now I'm looking at it and thinking more along the lines of "what will it be like to have to live with this stuff for the rest of a long old age? Do I want to? Do I even look at most of this anymore? Use much of it any more? Do I want to settle for this item or that one instead of reaching for something which would light up my (or Bossman's) eyes when I saw it every day? And what about when we, as some of our friends have, hit the "we're not going SCA camping any longer, nor schlepping all that medieval furniture around" stage? In all honestly, that isn't too far off - I can't see us being willing to do so in, say, five or six years. Not at the level that we currently do. By Pennsic 50 Bossman will be 69 and I'll 64... loading the truck full of wooden furniture for a two week long vacation just doesn't seem all that inspiring in that future.

It's very odd. I have never - ever - needed to consider my own 'old age'. I trained myself out of that sort of daydreaming when I was a teenager and was diagnosed with my heart condition and its limitations. After it failed and was magically corrected, multiple surgeries kept me focused on the 'now', and then my cancer struck. And four years later while I was still under treatment his did. Again, the 'now', the 'let's get through this' mode was predominate.

And now I have a real future with no plans and no goals. It is rather intimidating but exciting all blended together.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I am so bad about reading LiveJournal that I'm only on June 16th right now. Because whenever I read my 'friend's list', things they write remind me of stuff I want to get done myself, and I pop up to run over and do that thing... and just don't seem to come back to the computer until my phone dings to tell me about a facebook post it thinks I need to read.

Ah, the Electronic Age.

A few days ago my husband cooked up one of those small microwave pizzas for himself. (We're madly trying to use up all the food in both freezers, which is resulting in consuming things we are not all that interested in eating but just can't throw away). The smell was, as normal, much better than the flavor, and I spent a few hours wistfully sniffing the air, wanting pizza for myself. A reduced carb/reduced calorie lifestyle usually means "no pizza for you". Or at least, as I finally figured out, "no ordered-in pizza for you". The breaking point had come and resulted in me attempting to make my own. At 290cal per slice, it was still 'expensive', but quite filling and very tasty. I mention this because I just licked off the sauce from the last slice before I started typing - the final two pieces were lunch today.

I must figure out a better sauce for them. I am content with store-bought Pillsbury Pizza dough and of course the toppings were all nice and home-made, but the sauce was not. I used a canned spaghetti sauce. It wasn't bad and will be very tasty with some meatballs later this week but it was a tad too runny for pizza on a regular crust. We'd used it for 'French bread pizzas' in the past so the runniness wasn't that apparent. I think that mixing a bit of it with tomato paste or puree would do the trick. I already know that the times I would be making myself a pizza will also be times when food must be prepared quickly and easily, else I'd just make up my own sauce. Although.... I should write that down on my to-do list for after our vacation, after the chest freezer is defrosted (why we are eating everything frozen). It would be very handy to have prepared sauces pre-measured for my own pizzas in the freezer.

Remember the Big Baronial Fundraiser Lumpia sale? There are 14 20-count packs of lumpia in our freezer still. One can only eat so much of it before the mind screams "NO MORE!". We're at that point. I almost had a home for some last week until I realized that all we have left has onions in it, which my friends could not eat. Darn.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
That was actually true yesterday. I'd given our youngest a ride to work on Wednesday night so in the middle of the snowstorm I was out driving - slowly - to get him to work. Which meant that while I had scraped off all the snow on the windows and as much as I could reach on the roof & bonnet, I hadn't gotten it all off before I hopped into the car and turned on the defrosters.

So of course the next morning there was a nice 2 inch thick layer of ice coating the bonnet, the windshield, and a portion of the roof. Along with a thick layer of ice-sealed soft snow on the roof. After 20 minutes of the defrosters blasting the window was cleared, with me throwing broken-window-like chunks of ice over my shoulders onto the lawn. And the ice sheet on the bonnet came off in almost one perfectly formed sheet, which made me wish there was someone else around to marvel at it with me. But the roof - ah, well, I was too short to reach most of it and thought that I'd just have to wait until it had really warmed up from inside before it would be amiable to prying off.

The shopping trip I had with the youngest went quickly and well, and checking the roof when we arrived at the outlet store indicated that the ice was still firmly glued to it. On the way home, however, I began to think that it surely should be ready to remove (I deplore drivers who leave snow on their cars to blow back into the path of the following cars) and thanked my stars that we were driving down suburban roads with very few vehicles on them.

Dropped the boy-man off and headed the four blocks home. And then stopped at the first stop sign on my route. And a five-foot wide sheet of ice slid down the windshield to break into chunks before my eyes. Naturally, that is when the first car I'd seen in our neighborhood appeared - right behind me. The windshield wipers brushed the chunks away (WOW are they strong!) and I slowly and carefully moved on towards our house, seeing an extending ridge of about five inches of ice lining the top of the windshield. Cars parked on the street kept me from attempting to pull over and deal with it right then. And the car behind me followed me down the road and into our street. It turned out he was a neighbor who lived just past our place. I found that out after I pulled to a stop in the street preparatory to backing into the driveway... which was when a full 5x4 foot sheet of ice-bound snow slid off the roof and snuggly onto the entire front of my windshield.

Luckily, one does not need to see out of the front window to back into a driveway.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Ah, this is one of the 'perfect' days. The weather outside is in the high-seventies (f) (26c) and somewhat cloudy, with a gentle breeze. Lovely to be out in. While I was getting ready to run errands our Youngest posted a reply on FB, thereby alerting me to the fact that he was awake. He works a midnight shift so him being awake at that hour is rare. One phone call later I had a travelling companion for my errands and a lunch buddy. We merely ate at Taco Bell, but still - time with my son(s) is always valued.

The little dress is mailed off, new stamps are purchased, various small errands accomplished and - - - I loped off a huge branch from our willow tree. And then hid the evidence. It will be amusing to witness Bossman's reaction when he notices. We argue over the trimming of the tree. If he had his way, no leaf or branch would be low enough for him to walk into, which would make the tree look like a Q-tip that had exploded. I wanted a willow because I love the look of the branches sweeping across the grass and providing little curtained nooks to sit inside. So we have a long-running argument about tree-trimming. It is hard for him to mow the lawn with that giant mushroom of a tree out there, I know, and he has occasionally bonked his head (and cut his scalp) on a branch. I do understand. But it was my birthday present, so I feel that I get to say how or when the branches are trimmed. We have had one l-o-n-g branch that is was growing horizontal to the ground and had stretched out about 40 feet towards the house, getting greener the further out it grew. It is was long enough to actually block anyone trying to come around the corner of the house or else force them to push their way through what seemed like a jungle-scape. I cut it off. Yup. Me, pruning shears, some sort of gardening saw that folds into its handle, and our garbage can (we don't garden enough to compost) have changed the silhouette of my tree from 'Mushroom with a Begging Hand' to 'Mushroom'. It is still a bit lopsided, but that is the result of nature's own pruning every hurricane season. Darn it. Maybe my trimming will encourage the smaller side to bush out a bit more. Won't know until next summer when the new shoots appear.

We have a few more months of green and growing so the tree should heal well before winter sets in. And I expect that if we do see any fierce storms this hurricane season, I've averted a disastrous bit of damage. Not to mention that people parking on the side of our house can now actually reach the front door without playing George of the Jungle.

"I am Woman. Hear me grunt - HUH!!"
(I think that counts as my '20 minutes of exercise each day'.)
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
After our little storm/tornado last Thursday our TV started displaying disrupted video and sound, even on our pre-recorded shows. The cable guys are here to fix it (we assumed it was a cable problem) and we're getting an updated DVR since ours is one of the first ones Cox used... larger data storage disk! Just before Pennsic! YAY!

Unfortunately for us, it wasn't the DVR that was damaged, it was our brand-new TV. One of the input units took the hit and is inoperative. But that just means we can't hook up our Netgear to it. We haven't been using the Netgear thingy - fifteen minutes of fast-forwarded "instructions" from the son who gave it to us was not sufficient for us to learn how it works. And looking it up online was something on my 'meaning to do' list. Poor thing. It is abandoned. At least until we find out if we can return the TV under warranty or not. It was given to us last February but we don't have the gift receipt any longer. I never expected we would need it!
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have finally discovered the joy that is "Craig's List". And the danger. After searching all over town for a simple twin-sized bed to replace my (now defunct) Pennsic bed, I at length decided to google "craig's list" and check it out. Oh my goodness! I found a bed in under 15 minutes once I figured out the advanced search functions1. It is an Ethan Allen poster bed, which we are going to ruin by cutting short the posts so it will fit in our truck during packing. It comes with an eight-drawer dresser, too, with four long drawers below and then at the top where a fifth drawer would fit there are four smaller individual ones (as opposed to what gives that appearance but is actually one or two drawers). I've got a call out to friends with children to see who might need a new chest of drawers.

And then I made the error of 'cruising the lists'. Oh my. There are far too many things that caught my eye. One thing did appeal to me and I'd love to hear your opinion. A while ago I started phasing out our old dinner set and replacing it with various individual dishes whose decoration caught my eye. (I am such a pottery whore!) Last Pennsic's serving bowl acquisition is so pretty! Well, we have quite a cheerful table now, and on holidays I was amused to find our family members vying for a particular plate - each is beginning to decide on 'their favorite'. So I set a missed-matched board2.

We have only two wooden chairs which survived our children's growing-up phase. They tend to break under heavy use, I guess, so we've replaced the chair set a few times up until the kids moved out, and then we just crept along by augmenting the seating with our camping chairs when we had guests. We now have guests every Sunday for card playing, so in desperation I went to Sam's Club and bought metal-framed chairs with padded backs and seats. They are ugly, useful, and they make that leather/vinyl squeak when a person shifts their weight, but they stack for storage. We thought we'd end up stacking them away during the week but no, they sit around our table looking out of place. We hate metal chairs...

And that brings me back to my mis-matched table setting. Would it be absolutely too outré to buy wooden chairs as they become available on Craig's List, purposely collecting mis-matched ones? I think, as long as they are lightly stained wood, they'd end up rather blending together in color with our mahogany table and the continuation of the theme appeals to me. So does the idea of having people vying for 'their favorite gaming chair'. It'd be nice to have one chair for the head of the table that is uniquely Bossman's.

1 I was amazed by the number of mattress stores who posted over and over again their wares, gumming up the actual lists - until I discovered the magic "owner" button at the top of the page.

2I wonder if I ought to start looking out for a bright and cheerful tablecloth to use underneath... Bossman hates 'fancy dining' and I think I only have one tablecloth in the whole house, which I have steadfastly refused to give away (it was a gift from my grandmother for my hope chest). But a strong red or green cloth with pretty napkins would help accentuate the dishes... hmmmmmm... I think I could cajole Bossman into not grumping too much about that.
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