stitchwhich: (fireworks)
On Friday I woke up at 6:15 to a grey day - only, well, I didn't know it was 'day'. I had slept so hard that when I woke up to the overcast light I thought the sun was setting and I'd slept all through the day and Bossman had gotten home while I was still abed. I shamefacedly made my way into the kitchen and was sitting at the table glumly contemplating what that meant for the chances of getting any sleep that night when Bossman came into the room and asked me why I was so down. Then he reached for his denture case. I asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was getting ready for work as he does every morning. Oh dear. He got a huge laugh out of my bewilderment. I shook off my dazzlement enough to quickly dress and drive him to work, giving me the car for the day, then called our youngest to see if he'd worked overnight. And that resulted in a lovely breakfast with my son followed by a trip to the DMV to procure a new ID card for him. He refuses to get a driver's license for some odd reason, even in this city-transportation benighted area, but after he'd been mugged he had no ID at all and had been putting off the (dreaded) trip to the s-l-o-w DMV office ever since. With the presidential election season creeping near his need for one was becoming dire. It turned out to be a quick trip - only around an hour. But with the time it took to find all of his paperwork beforehand it was nearly lunchtime when we walked out and his father, having a short day, was ready to come home. So we fetched him for lunch and then dropped our boy/man off for his bedtime while us older folks drove off for fun.

By which I mean that we gassed up the car and then braved the Sprint store to get a new phone for the Bossman. His was so old they didn't even accept it for a trade-in. Somehow along the way I got a new phone also, thanks to the BOGO deal they had going, and a free Samsung tablet E for the man, too. And we came out of it with our monthly bill lower than it was when we walked in. I'm a little confused about how that all happened - especially since we, the two of us, have a third cell phone line now, but there we go. They used my husband's old phone for the new line's number and handed it back to him. I guess we needed a 'new' line in order to get the BOGO deal. I haven't checked to see how long we have to keep it activated. Both of us are now working on learning the ins and outs of our phones' operating systems. We moved away from Samsung models to the newest LG. It is a big phone and barely fits in my pocket. It does NOT fit in there when I have it in its (also freely given before I could say "I don't want that, actually") waterproof case. Apparently with it in that I can take a bath with the phone or take it swimming and use it as a camera. Okay, sure. So there are two cases for mine now - one for everyday which I bought at the mall (a vivid blue case which looks nothing like my husband's previously matching one) and one water-, earthquake-, drop- proof case for Pennsic use. It will be in a pouch then, tucked inside a knitted bag*. We both went to bed early that night. Evidently the process of phone acquisition is exhausting.

Saturday morning started with the uncomfortable awareness that I'd contracted another UTI and off to the Urgent Care clinic I went. I loaded up my sewing equipment before I left the house and after an exam, lab test, and prescription stop I was on my way to a "Sew-appaloosa" at a local library. One of the chatelaines in our barony had reserved the space for the pre-Pennsic panic stitching frenzy. Only about six of us showed up but we got a great deal done and left contented. I worked on creating a groundcloth for our pavilion. There doesn't seem to be a local source for 16x16 canvas tarps but we'd found a 12x16 last year while setting up for service week and made do with it and two 8x8s. Friday morning I bought another 16x12, and that night tore out all of the hemming on both of them, then laid them out on the floor at the library to double-check their measurements. A little cutting and stitching later has gained us a 17x18 groundcloth... yeah, I know, not "16x16" but my beloved husband insists that it be larger than the tent's actual interior footprint. I don't know why. I suspect I'll be making it smaller after we try out his suggested size this year. I've one edge hemmed and tomorrow I'll finish the other three. Today has been 'lazy day' and all we've done is visited Long John Silver's for dinner and then lolled in front of the television to catch up on episodes of the BBC's "Endeavor". And maybe a couple of other shows too; "Houdini & Doyle" and "Royal Pain".

Tomorrow, or rather later today, we'll host a traditional bar-b-que party and cards.

*Why do I need to carry my phone at Pennsic? Because only one of my department heads has a phone assigned to them. We need our phone to communicate with each other. I anticipate that it will feel very weird next year to not need to carry the thing around with me.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
We visited Whole Foods today. We did not escape with our debit card unscathed. However our mouths and tummies are pretty durned happy (good bar-b-que ribs. Yum) I especially like their "hint" water, which is water infused with fruit flavor but no sugar or sweeteners. I had the apple-pear one on the way home, which I learned too late actually had caffeine in it, and am saving the blackberry and the pineapple for tomorrow's meeting.

They had a small reseal able container of "sangria" herbal tea for sale. I gave in and bought it. This one -> (I should hit "help" and remember how to do embedded links, shouldn't I?) With monk's fruit as my sweetener it tastes okay. Not grand, but that was the first brew and I was winging it on amounts. It seemed a little weak but that may be a good thing since it is currently chilling in the fridge to be packed for tomorrow.

Tomorrow we're joining our Horde Brothers in our annual Khuraltai meeting. It's always nice to see the ones from out of our area at something other than Pennsic. I'm looking forward to the day even though it will start for us in about five hours. We have to be on the road by 5:15. Sheesh! We can sleep in on Sunday.

It appears our air conditioner has died. Or at least leaked out all of its coolant. Service calls will be made on Monday.


Oct. 1st, 2015 02:57 am
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Rain. Yes, we've been getting spitting rain with occasional full-out storms for the last 24 hours. Even though there have been moments of breakthrough sunshine too. Today's forecast is for rain all day; and also tomorrow, and then next day, and then on Sunday or Monday Hurricane Joaquin is likely to brush through (or by). If 'through' as predicted, the eye will pass directly over our city. That should be fun. Luckily for us we are not too worried about flooding on our property. We're just high enough that the water has never reached above our porch, so our car can be backed up to the garage door (what, "in the garage"? You jest. That is Bossman's woodworking shop.) and it will be high enough to only get the tires wet. The street will flood well - I've seen neighbors boating on our street during previous storms, and our wonderful willow tree will continue getting pruned by nature. Last night's winds have already knocked down a lot of vulnerable branches. But willows thrive on annual pruning. They must have been designed for stormy areas.

"French Toast Panic" has already set in. Or so I've been told. I haven't gone to the store to witness it myself, being busy doing other things like sewing, driving Uber (ubering?), and working on the reservation list for Atlantia's Coronation. Which event, by the way, our local group is hosting at a Boy Scout reservation... this Saturday. I expect the decision about cancelling or not to be made on Friday. Until then we likely won't have enough information about which way the storm is going to swing.

Administratively this won't be the burden it would normally be as our Exchequer has been on the road for weeks and all of the reservation cheques and cash are in my hands. Or rather, all but about 6 reservations, those being the ones I was able to pass on to him at the first of this month. So should the event be cancelled, most likely the cheques-writers will be zen about me just ripping up their cheques (I can send photos!) while the cash-givers are thankfully local.

But our feast cook is going to need folks to buy up her supplies. And man, that is going to be a circus since she is NOT local to any of us.

In other news, we may be facing putting down our cat, Humilty. Her behavior has grown increasingly erratic and odd, and she has begun to miss the litter box more often than hit it. Scrubbing the bathroom floor twice a day or more often is becoming habitual. This afternoon we added up years and realized that she is a little over 13 years old, which is pretty ancient for a Manx. And after doing an internet search we are beginning to believe that senility has crept in. Otherwise she seems healthy. Barring her refusal to groom herself which is going to necessitate a furball-clipping tomorrow evening. Neither of us are really looking forward to that chore! Humility does not appreciate our grooming attempts. Or anyone else's either. She is a cantankerous loner who does not need physical contact with anyone or thing and is quite clear about it. But every once in a while she will allow us to pet her head and scratch her ears so we've learned to have one person do that while holding her while the other of us gets busy with the scissors and de-matting tools. We generally only can do one side at a time. The other side has to wait until she's forgiven us and forgotten everything except the ear scritches.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
So while Bossman and I were shopping for replacement trim for that pesky cooler, there was a woman in the trim section looking extremely bewildered. She had six summer dresses on her cart and was trying to match them up with lace or gathered edgings. It turned out that she was a third grade teacher, returning to school after a 27 year hiatus. She realized that her dresses were too short and was looking for something to lengthen them... I offered a suggestion and she lit up, "Oh! Do you sew?" She was hopeless. She wanted to hire me on an ongoing basis "For when I pull a button off, or need pants hemmed." I did agree to help her with her school needs and ended up making 42 pillowcases - four large and 38 small - for her classroom. The large pillowcases were jungle print cotton, no problem. They will cover pillows for her reading nook. The small ones were for seat cushions (really just 14" pillows she bought) for each desk. She'd already purchased the fabric. Black fleece.

I've never sewn fleece before. Please Deity, I never will again. I only averaged six pillows an hour because the upper thread shredded through the tension gauge once to four times (I think even more often occasionally) on each pillow. And that was after I went online and read all the 'sewing with fleece' tip pages I could access. That is some nasty stuff.

Today was the first day of our Great Printer Search. Man, I hate looking for 'large' electronic equipment... we went to two stores and then I was done. I believe we may have one picked out but Bossman was opposed to buying it right then, while we were in the store with it on sale and stocked, because he wants to do further research on it. Which he is apparently doing from his easy chair while watching Thursday Night Football. *sigh* I married him...

I will be online after I finish this researching high speed scanners. Until we were looking at printers I didn't know that one could buy a simple single-function scanner. Given the number of files I must process in order to convert our Kingdom heraldic records from paper to electronic format, I think we'd be justified in purchasing one. If it will last all the way through that task, it could be passed on to the Golden Dolphin herald for 'everyday' scanning of forms, too, and save her primary printer for other jobs.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Ice in holly, Feb 2015

That is an over-six foot tall mass of icicle in our holly bush by the front door (if a holly is now over 8 feet tall, but still trimmed into a rectangular shape with a flat top, is it a bush or has it graduated to 'tree'?). There is a corner made by our roof gutters where the short side of our porch roof meets the front of the house, and no matter how clean the gutters are water likes to drip from the cut part of the trimmed-and-merged corner. Which, over the course of this week's snow and daily sun-melt, has created this chunk of ice. It is about three feet thick at its thickest point. We don't dare try to break it away from the plant for fear of damaging the limbs its gotten itself entwined with. If I had a blow-dryer for my hair, I'd try melting the ice but I haven't owned one of those for years.

Hopefully we will remember this and sometime after the spring rains we can use a sealant to coat the line of the merged edges so no more water can drip from it. It's never been a problem in the past, being too far from the front door for the occasional drip to bother us as we come in and out.
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)
My goodness, I'm so far behind on reading LiveJournal that I am currently reading posts from a week ago. I feel a bit silly making comments but I'm going to anyway.

We've had a week of 'house woe'. We had planned on attempting to finish the main bathroom last weekend but budgetary pinching couldn't overcome current bills so the project has been put off. Darn it. That same problem has made it clear that we won't be buying a new tent for Pennsic and will have to use the same three-for-us arrangement as we did in the past. I view this with a jaundiced eye since neither one of us are going to be physically fit enough to set up or tear down without becoming overly hot and winded (exhausted). I fear the teardown the most. And, we now have two 'so-so' tents, since friends helping us tear down at War of the Wings ignored our instructions and managed to rip the canvas of my wall tent right along the ridgepole area. I've mended it - hopefully it won't leak. Arni's 10x14 is so old that we fear ripping each time it goes up. I've been telling myself 'this is the last year' for two years now. So I approach the idea of camping with a touch of dread.

Then inspiration struck. We have friends who are not in the SCA any longer and they want to sell their oval tent. (I think it is an 18' oval, but Bossman believes it is longer.) I contacted them to ask if we could borrow their tent for Pennsic and sell it for them there - the selling of used tents is a looked-for occurrence and most folks understand that the tent will be available at the end of the event. That would work perfectly. They said they love the idea, so we're set. One tent. Yay!

But then house-woes hit again. In small scale, thank goodness. Our garbage disposal developed a leak. Actually, the discharge line came completely off of the unit so that is more than a mere 'leak'. Currently I have our camping dish pan in the sink to use for dishwashing and to stave off any accidental spillage. After a lot of cussing (during attempted repairs) and disagreement (post attempted repair), Bossman has concurred that a replacement unit must be purchased. He begrudges the cost, you see, since medical bills are eating our funds. We have fabulous health and co-pay insurances, but they require that the billing facility (the hospitals and doctor's offices) actually follow the rules and submit correctly. Often they do not and send the bills late to us - usually as unexplained charges with vague dates. For example, I just received a bill for services rendered in October of 2013... just the bill and that date. There is no way for me to reconcile that with our insurance so we're stuck paying it. The downside to our fabulous plan is that it is administered online, for the most part. There is a local 'office' but we cannot call them or make an appointment to see them. I'm not really sure what they are there for, to tell you the truth. Being a government program (for dependants and retirees of the military), we just have to deal with however they choose to set things up. ARG.

I should get back to my housework. Oh! One last thing to write about - last week we found a card in our mailbox that had obviously been placed there by hand (no street addresses on it). It was addressed just to us by first names and the message inside had been carefully typewritten and taped to the card. It said that we had enough to worry about with the health challenges we were facing without having to deal with bills too, and there was a $100 bill folded inside. I have no idea who gave it to us but it was a gift that stunned me. And yeah, I cried a bit. Right now the card is hanging on our refrigerator so we can see it everyday. But I think the cash may be buying a new garbage disposal.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The local cleaning service that donates their time to "Cleaning for a Reason" came to our house today... four smiling young people dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed and did other arcane things to rooms I haven't been able to thoroughly clean in three years. The dusted our bookshelves - anyone who has been to our house know what a chore that would be - then even washed dishes I'd meant to get to before they arrived and dumped all the garbage containers. I was embarrassed that it took four people three hours to do what they did. They were very thorough. The house smells so much better, and I swear the air is lighter somehow. Probably the absence of dust.

The vacuum cleaner they used was the weirdest neat thing. It was a backpack. I was transported to "Ghostbusters" for a minute but that only made us all smile the more. I'm sure they've heard every possible reference to that movie by now.
stitchwhich: (did she?)
I've a sewing project just started. I shouldn't have it as I've got two already entrain but the need is there. Currently our newest day-trip cooler is naked - naked I tell you - with no wardrobe. Bright plastic blue naked. I've cut out a short cover of lovely-patterned gold, rust, and black upholstery fabric to drape slightly over the top with a lighter-weight solid gold brocade skirting. We hit JoAnn's Fabrics for upholstery braiding to cover the edge of the top... oh my. The twisted rope for edging the braid wasn't too expensive but the tassels to hang from the bottom! $29.99 a yard! Which we didn't notice until they were ringing up my two yards. I nearly swooned. For a cooler-cover! The salesclerk used her discount card to bring the price down a bit. Or rather, a lot. We'll be treasuring that cover, I can tell you. The braided tassel trim, btw, looks like the trim seen here: . As you'd guess, knowing me, there will be no plaid involved in our project. But it should look very luxurious hanging across the gold skirting with the Ottoman patterned top spread above it. Maybe I should take a picture of our 'little boudoir stool" when I'm done with it. (That is what it will look like. Or a Victorian's interpretation of a 'medieval' table skirted so one is not forced to view the table's "limbs".)

There is a cleaning service for cancer patients that has agreed to come to the house and clean once a month for four months. They should be contacting me in a few days to make the actual arrangements. I am so relieved. Physically I am too weak to keep things up as I ought and right now so is Bossman. The dust level is growing. If all they do is simply vacuum and dust, I will rain blessings upon them. I can keep sinks and other porcelain facilities clean - I bought the 'make it easy' tools for those - but it would be sweet to have the shower really scrubbed rather than just rubbed down with a scrubbing bubbles and the long-handled hard sponge thingy I have. That works 'okay' but not 'great'. Mostly, though, I really, really, want the bookshelves (four walls worth, from floor to ceiling, in two rooms and the hallway) dusted. Clean.

In related news, my oncologist has taken me off of the Gleevec earlier than we had planned. It is only seven weeks early but I'm so grateful for it. I should be sleeping better in a few days and able to stand for longer periods shortly after that. And the nausea is due to stop, oh, tomorrow, probably. Maybe the next day. By Friday when Bossman goes in for his second chemo, I should be better rested and less emotionally fragile. The stress has been building too much for me to cope with, stupidly. Tears come too easily over minor things.

I'm such a wuss. )
stitchwhich: (Happy buttons)
Today my husband was my hero in a way that only husbands can be... When we bought this house over 20 years ago, we selected bathroom fixtures (well, TP holder, towel racks, that sort of thing) made of wood & bronze. They still look very nice, actually, even though we're going to end up getting rid of them when we're done putting in new walls. So it is silly to buy a new holder at this point.

But our toilet paper holder is one of those kinds without a bar holding the roll. Instead there are tabs on each side that support the cardboard roll that the paper is wrapped around. Except they don't. Because in one of those (typical) marketing ploys, TP companies are reducing the amount of paper they produce by shortening the actual length of the roll. Sure, they are fatter in volume, to look oh-so-tempting, but they are also about 3/4 of an inch shorter in length than they once were. TP doesn't stay on our holder any longer. I've dealt with this over the last couple of years by carefully comparing roll height at the store and cutting an insert to use during the times I've gone soft-headed and bought a package of short rolls.

well - they're ALL short rolls now. So for the last month and a half we've had a combination insert & roll sitting bare between the tabs with a new roll placed on top of it as if it were a shelf. It drives me nuts.

Until today, when I awoke to find a PVC pipe carefully cut to fit between the tabs and thin enough to slide a roll onto 'like normal'.

It is the little things...
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Yesterday my husband spontaneously mentioned how much he loves the thickness of the limbs/leaves of our willow tree. This storm season, with its dearth of storms (knock wood!) has allowed the willow to just be peerlessly beautiful. I can't believe it is ten years old now. The trunk is fatter than I am.

Over Pennsic, our Youngest transplanted my little violet plant (Viola odorata rosina <-see what they did there?) because it was dying. I had to walk him through the process over the phone, at near midnight when he was at the house. He sheltered the newly-resituated plant against the willow tree's truck, where it would be safe from the winds and get 'just enough' sunlight in the summer heat. It has bounced back beautifully. But I am still somewhat wistful about it - it has never bloomed, ever, in the four years or so I've had it. It now is darkly green and healthy but still... no flowers.

My days (and nights) have been given over to rolling lumpia, washing dishes from rolling lumpia, shopping for more supplies for rolling lumpia, or chopping ingredients for lumpia. We've hosted two 'rolling parties', with another one tonight and two more to come, and then, I swear, I shall be done with that until after Atlantia Coronation (Oct 5th), which is where we shall be serving all of it. I hope. It is a fundraiser lunch for our barony so we can get a new pavilion. Originally, I was only going to serve freshly-fried ones of four different kinds of meat, but after mentioning a remark made in my journal by [ profile] loosecanon, the Sunday Rolling Party started riffing on "other ways we can play with fillings". Since we're not even trying to pretend like this is a medievally correct food, the floodgates opened. We tried bananas (not impressed, too bland), then apples. Oh, the apples were a success, especially with a nice (okay, it was based on a medieval recipe) blend of spices which even included a pinch of white pepper. Those were marvellous! After that we had to try other additives, so now we've got apple & raisin, and apple w/raisins & walnuts, as well as apples with caramel chips - those made two people with wildly differing preferences in desserts actually crossed their eyes as they ate them. And then we took peaches (too bland by themselves) and added walnuts to them, which now tastes as though we used a lokim recipe for the filling. We are planning on trying some frozen (fresh) mixed berries with white chocolate, and one of the RollerBabes bought all the ingredients to attempt 'pizza' lumpia, which idea does not thrill me but what the heck, she'll have fun and someone will surely eat them.

In other news, my leg is healing. It still looks incredibly nasty and feels like I've melting plastic stuck to my shin, but it is obvious from our once-a-day pictures that the wound is beginning to close and the areas around the wound are becoming less and less inflamed. Tomorrow I go in for more prednisone shots. Ugh.

Countdown: 217 days to a Gleevec-free life.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Today we talked with a financial counsellor. He gave us the news I was hoping for, and now we'll see if it comes to fruition. He also basically told us that we'd not need to restructure our finances if we didn't spend so much on the SCA.

Yes, that made me snort in amusement also.

In other news, the result of my biopsy came back and I have a name for the weird sores/rash/thing on my right shin. It is a rare (Why do I get the rare ones?) condition, chronic to boot, and isn't actually curable. 0.3% of diabetics get it, and some of them will get it before they ever actually develop diabetes. Which explains why no one could figure out what it was when I first noticed the then-small sore. The best I can hope for is that the area heals up with fairly sturdy skin again. The scarring and the discoloration will be there for life, and any damage to the shin will re-start the syndrome (or whatever we call that) so it may spread larger. Damage, btw, can be defined right now as "biopsy wound" which has turned from a 5mm puncture to a wound slightly larger than a quarter. As is normal for the condition. For those of you with both strong curiosity and stomachs, the condition is called "Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum" and I'd suggest you not look in Google-images for it. Yuck.

Two weeks from now I will begin getting shots as a treatment for it. I sure hope they are just 'shots in your arm or butt' but I fear they may actually have to be at the site of the condition itself. I will bring my stuffed Opus with me and be a child for this stuff. The good possibility is that the treatment works well enough for this to go into remission. If it does, the discoloration will fade to a mild dusky pink and I would be able to wear skirts or shorts without being embarrassed. So that is what I'm hoping for.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
4:30 in the morning.
I should be working on heraldry stuff but my reaction to the GD'ed Fracking Cat who sprayed our doors and house corners last night is still causing me trouble. I have a very strong reaction to the smell, very close to one needing an epi pen. I took meds for it and even managed to go outside and sprayed down the areas with some handy 'animal odour remover' stuff so I just have to wait the reaction out. My eyes sting like Hades, though.

But for now I'm too miserable to think. What I should do is colour in more of the submissions. On Wednesday I travelled south to a group in North Carolina, met up with Bambi there, and we did an extensive heraldic intervention for the group... lots of submissions were hammered out and their baron and baroness can start to rest easier about the awards they've been giving. But it was a long night and only one page of each submission was coloured in, and three of them weren't even drawn up. They're approved by the group, though, and of the ones that were drawn up, each had one page coloured so I could scan them in for OSCAR when I got home.

That is, until I got home and realised that the Letter of Intent wasn't done, the April 1 letter hadn't been started because none of the 'submissions' were actually sent to me (I found them in the archives of the discussion group) and it needed to be finished too... so I've been a tad busy. That works out very nicely for the two heralds who sent me late submissions that would normally be waiting for next month's letter. Can you say, "squeak"? I knew you could.

I learned from Bambi-conversation that I have been an 'interim' submission herald and that it is expected that I won't seek a second gig at the job. Damn. I was having fun, especially now that I'm catching on to it all well enough to not drown. (Not to mention that my approval rate on submissions has been about 85%, which puts me squarely in a "B" grade - not great, but certainly not bad!) Luckily my boss called me this evening and I asked her about it. She was surprised - she doesn't want me to step aside when my warrant runs out. Good. As long as Laurel doesn't have a problem with me, I'm staying in. We need a couple more years of training and practise before there is going to be another herald willing and able to take over the job (I'm excepting Bambi, who could do the job but really shouldn't.) We need to create a solid pool of qualified heralds in the Kingdom. And besides that, it is my firm belief that one of the foremost duties of an office-holder is to train at least one replacement - and I haven't quite achieved that yet. Although I have a few likely candidates in mind if I can give them another year or so to get comfortable with their knowledge base.

I'm getting the kingdom files this weekend. Can you imagine? I have been doing this job for about a year and a half and now I'm getting the records... I expect that part of this month will be spent reshuffling the folders I have in temporary storage into their permanent home, and toting up how many binders I wasted as duplicates. Hopefully I can flip those inside out and reuse them.

We had to get rid of three bookcases to make room for the files... Bossman and I sorted through books and offloaded about 200 titles to Goodwill. Wow. Most of them were things that no one will really have any use for; two sets of encyclopaedias (our Britannicas were over 35 years old!), Time-Life sets on home repair and other subjects (remember the era of "pay $14.95 monthly for each book in the set"?)... predominately subjects too easily found on the Internet nowadays. And a huge load of hardback novels that we both have in electronic form now. And boy, did I rediscover my Craft library. ("Craft" as in "Wiccan/Pagan and comparative religion studies.) Some of the titles made me smile - "Magical Rites from the Crystal Well", "Drawing Down the Moon" (which had photos in it of people I later recognised from my SCA kingdom, once I became a member, which made me grin), the writings of Marion Weinstein, and a book by the firebrand Leo Martello - who most modern Wiccans have never heard of. As well as a couple of books that I bought just because their authors cited me in their work. Ah, the old days, when we had to sneak into little side bookstores and buy our books by special order, delivered wrapped in brown paper so the titles would not shock the other customers or get us lynched. How things have changed. I'd forgotten about them in amongst the more recent titles.
stitchwhich: (Fear the Penguins)
For a few years I've been actively intrigued by "tiny homes", starting with the Tumbleweed models and moving on through the various styles that have been designed since those were introduced. I've always thought of living in a wee house when I got 'older', someplace just large enough for one or two people, easy to keep clean, and somewhat storybook-like... "grandma's cottage", if you will.

I hadn't expected the idea to catch fire but I'm glad it has. Cruising the web looking at models of them is fun. And the advent of e-readers and Blueray interface between computer & TV have made the concept even more appealing as our relaxation needs are met by minaturized support equipment. Who would have guessed in the 60s that televisions could hang on a wall like a portrait? Or that telephones would not only fit in your pants pocket, but would also hold all of your favorite music, show movies, and hold your library too?

As we've gotten further along in our hobby-play, my need for a sewing machine and all of the vast array of designer equipment has nearly disappeared. Yeah, I do still sometimes use my machine but most of what I make is handsewn. I don't need a serger, a buttonhole maker, a pleating machine, or even a quilting stand (I generally make tied quilts, which can be done by laying them on bed or floor to pin, then sewn draped over a table.) So my need for storage space has lessened. Not being a clotheshorse, I use less of a closet, or a chest of drawers, than Bossman does. Again - not bad for someone who'd love to live in a tiny house someday.

But my downfall is in 'stuff'. Memento-stuff. Today I am cleaning out a hope chest stocked with things given to me over the years from SCA friends that I had no need for but also no desire to give away to someone else. And some of it (like the cowbell in there !?!) would never be good as gifts anyway. The chest has been ignored, for the most part, and is nearly empty. And yet in another room we have a pile of blankets that we use for camping and winter-time, with no place to store them except on top of whatever is sitting 'out' on the craft room floor. Today, the chest will be meeting the blankets and a merger will be formed. And the assorted bits of 'someday I may fit them' clothing and the little pile of datebooks I've kept in the bottom drawer of my chest of drawers are going to find their way to a Goodwill box. Because really? What is my purpose in keeping that stuff?

Because if, someday, we ever DO decide that the ideal retirement plan is a tiny house, I want to be ready for it.

So that means that my photo albums are going to be dismantled and the photos scanned for digital storage. And the dishes in the kitchen and craft room (SCA ware) - They too shall be merged. Why on earth do we have two sets of dedicated dishes and silverware? That is just silly. Why not use the ones that we bought because I love them all the time instead of only on weekends? Frankly, I'm tired of the Pfaltzgraff pattern we've had for the last 25 years. And we sure don't need enough to set a table for 12! So why not merge the 'feastgear' and the 'regular dishes'? I think it'd make a very ecletic table setting, and a fun one, too.
stitchwhich: (color splash)
Today was just another standard housewifey-day. I'm fighting off a cold (again, or probably 'still') so it was taken up by a large amount of sleeping - and stoking the fires, I swear! I ate around 2300 calories of food in 24 hours, about 1000 more than I normally would. And right now, at 2:00am, I am fighting the urge to go find something to eat.

Weird, that.

Our attic-bound heating unit has been making an odd noise since it was turned on last week, an intermittant low growling when the motor is running. Last week was the coldest of the season, so we put off calling a repairman until today, when the weather is wonderfully mild and the repair guy wouldn't be freezing off his fingertips up there. He arrived this morning as I was yawning my way through a fight with Morpheus (I won! I lasted until the guy left!) and Bossman had already cleared a space in the garage to reach the attic hatch. (Someday we're going to do something about that very inconvienient hatch opening. Like install a pull-down ladder-hatch in our hallway or something.) It appears that the motor was fine. He suggested that we might want to watch the capacitor, as it was testing out less strong than it should but was still within specs. Barely. As it is at least as old as our mortgage (over 20 years), I asked him to replace it. The weird thrumming noise? A metal cover whose screws had come slightly loose next to the air intake. Three twists of his wrist and the noise was gone. The whole system got a thumb's up from him and he nixed my idea of maybe having a vent cleaning - said it didn't look bad at all, barely dirty, and would be a waste of our money unless we were highly allergic or something. Pretty cool, that. Who knew? In a house of books, books, books, craft projects, pets, and camping equipment being brought in and out, I had expected more dirt in our vents. He attributed the cleanliness to the "top line filters you've been using in the air intake'. The only downer of the visit was the cost - but it had a silver lining too, as a normal one-shot visit costs about the same as a yearly maintanance contract and they'd thought that when I had said, "It's probably normal upkeep stuff", the receptionist marked the visit as a maintanance one. I was happy to agree to that idea! So next sping, when we're getting ready for hot weather again, they'll come out 'for free' and recharge the coolant system and all of that. Plus, they offer discounts on replacement equipment to their contract-holders (which was handy for the capacitor purchase.) Nonetheless, it was no an inexpensive call... which I had not budgeted for.

I found a wonderful flooring company nearby and am actually excited about dragging Bossman there to shop for the new bathroom floors. That, we have budgeted for, and I am really looking forward to getting the two rooms back into shape. The next step is to replace wallboard - I won't be much use to the Bossman for that, but I can do the spackling afterwards and help with the sanding. Once that is done, the floors go in and then it is paint time & followed by 'install the new fixtures' time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. YAY!

Well now, was that boring enough for you? And here you thought LiveJournal was more interesting than FaceBook!

We're not going to make it to Holiday Faire this weekend (see heater-repair story above). That does give us a weekend to work on the house, though. Assuming that Bossman agrees, since he's stuck doing most of the heavy work.

The untimely demise of my Nook has been driving me crazy. I'm currently re-reading old series of paperback novels, but doncha know, each story brings to mind a scene from a book that is lodged in my Nook. ARG! I really hope that I get a replacement one for my birthday. Really hope. Really. I want this one: Nook 6 Simple Touch eReader with Glowlight 2GB. I prefer my magizines to be paper ones and don't surf the web on my ereader - I'd rather be able to read it while in strong sunlight, to tell you the truth, than to have all the fancy bells and whistles yet not be able to use it except in dim (relatively) light. And this new model has a built-in lighting bar, which I highly approve of! The only concern I have is getting some of the stories not purchased via Barnes and Noble transferred to the new e-reader. I don't know how to do that since they are not currently in my home computer's Nook storage area. It didn't occur to me when I was turning them into pdf's and transferring them to the Nook that I ought to ensure that a copy of them stayed in my computer, too. "Copy", not "transfer". Lesson learned.

In health news - results of my latest blood test indicate that my LDL levels is well within normal and glucose levels are pretty darned good too. (6.0 acl, and an average of 124g) so if I keep up the weight loss and figure out a way to exercise daily, I should be kicking auxillary meds to the side by next year.
stitchwhich: (Default)
I am hiding from work I really should be doing. So, one indulgence and then it's back to work for me. I know darned well that once I get started, I'll be hooked and won't want to stop until my eyes cross or Bossman comes home from work this evening (why yes, I have been awake all night. Does it show?)Here's some house-stuff and some health stuff. )
stitchwhich: (happy toast)
Okay, when I wasn't playing with my legos today, this is what I got done:

It's a phone-camera picture but hey... no more icky grey plastic shelves. I emptied out all the storage units, moved everything from one side of the room to the other, shoved the bed up against the wall, tossed those grey shelves, then bought more wooden units to augment the ones we had. Bossman helped me put together the four new units. And now I have room to walk around (again) in the craft room, or set up a table, while Bossman doesn't have to deal with taking down/setting up my camping bed every time we have a guest (that would be the foot of the bed obscuring the drawers on the bottom left).

They're mostly the cheap organiser shelves from target, but I don't care. It is a vast improvement over big plastic knock-down shelves. But I have got to change out the handles.
stitchwhich: (Willowcote)
Our main bathroom has no cabinet, no toilet, and no floor... but it does have a new ceiling fan that also sports a light* (overhead light! Whoda thunk it?). Poor BossMan was tearing out the linoleum last night while I was in the kitchen with the 'woodburn the designs onto the new travel thrones' crew... I looked at what the linoleum was covering. Yeech. My respect for the previous owner, already low, sank yet more.

Next, destruction of the wallpaper. Opi and Bossman have already started on the paper-pricking, soon to continue and move on to 'paper pulling'. And then, I'm guessing, it will be time for refinishing the cement and laying in a new floor.

I really wish I could help.

*The new light is in an 'antique' style, which threw me the first time I saw it turned off - the bulb cover looks dirty, but it's not, it's just sort of 'smoky' to look right when it is turned on. But still... one's first reaction upon seeing a new fixture is not supposed to be dismay that it looks like it needs to be replaced!
stitchwhich: (Willowcote)
I marked Oestera privately and then spent Saturday hiding out from all the bathroom de-struction that was going on down the hall and in the attic (stuck ceiling fan in a small, weird section of our attic, which resulted in pulled muscles on the part of the he-men who had to shimmy, climb, stretch to reach it). As a bonus, there is now a new faucet in the master bathroom - - - hot water! No drips! w00t!

Yesterday was lovely. It started early for me (2:30am) but that meant that when it was time for our Fighter's Practise at Mt. Trashmore, I was more than ready to leave the cave and venture into to sunlight. And so was a huge crowd of Scadians and an even bigger one of our neighbors. Wow. What a great afternoon!

I didn't get much embroidery done while folks were fighting - the wind was in full blow and having my hair flying in my face was too irritating. Besides, I was too busy flapping my jaws and listening to friends, especially one visitor from Lochmere who'd come down for the weekend for a surprise birthday party (which I had missed but the careful stance of some of our scadians indicated that they'd not missed it - or the drinks being made by the hostess).

The first days of Spring are always so refreshing but rarely as nice as these were. And the willow tree is already in full bloom.
stitchwhich: (Willowcote)
Termite treatment guy is here - and so is Bossman (my husband). Maybe there will be 'closure' finally.
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