Well, That was Enlightening

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:25 pm
reynardine: (omg)
[personal profile] reynardine
Tried the new inhaler for the first time. Wow! Did not realize how constricted my bronchial tubes were or how much it was hurting me to breathe!

Late Night HP Musings

Jul. 25th, 2017 04:53 am
reynardine: (hp_snape)
[personal profile] reynardine
Looking at fanart of the Marauders, set back in the late 70's/early 80's--it's amusing to me how no one ever seems to get the pants right. Everyone wore very high-waisted pants back in those days. Boys wore TIGHT high-waisted pants. It was a unique silhouette which doesn't show up in the fanart very often.

I was in junior-high/early high school at that time, so I remember (with some embarrassment) those clothes very well!
reynardine: (ga_bear_tampopo)
[personal profile] reynardine
Up early--heartburn. Probably stress. I think I can nap a bit later, but I want to get some sewing done today as well.

A slight break from the ungodly heat, but it's coming back for a few days. Wonder of wonders, it looks like a cool front will come in by this weekend, so the fighters at our event on Saturday may have a pleasant day of it after all! Good!

Looks like we have a buyer for the tent. That was fast. I'm holding it for them until mid-August (after Pennsic) when they can pay. Normally I would not do that but it's a local buyer, and if the sale falls through, I can just list it again. Nightmare scenario: they find some more period tent on sale cheap at Pennsic...however, from the conversation, they really wanted a Soulpad of that size, so I think it'll be fine.

My lovely tent... ;_; It was a sweet dream while it lasted.

Bob ended up pulling up 1/4 of the carpet down in the basement. We lost an old bookcase as well (wood bottom got wet). He's having to go through the books on the bottom shelf to see if there was damage, but it looks like it didn't seep up that high. He's suspicious about his surge protectors, which were in the wet area, so he's going to replace them for safety. Fortunately, he has a big desk with metal legs--no harm there, and the electronics were already high off the floor. He'll set it up now so that all the surge-protectors, plugs, etc, are up high. He's mainly lost paper/cardboard things.

Turns out we did leave our dehumidifiers back at the old house. Got a new one about the same size as before and put it to work. In five hours, it already needed to be emptied. Looks like this will be a daily task.

The carpet and pad were just loosely glued on concrete (WHAT? WHO DOES THAT?). Bob is eventually going to have to pull up the rest of it, which will take a long time because he has so much stuff stashed in that room. Thank God he had emptied the moving boxes and put things on wall shelves and tables, plus the new Ikea shelves he installed last year were on the other side of the room and took no damage.

He overdid, of course. I ordered him to take it easy tomorrow and rest. He's got to work the rest of the week, with overtime. This is the busy season at his job. (Note: I offered to help move things around, but he doesn't want me messing with his stuff. It's chaos down there to my eyes, but he claims he knows where everything is. I just let him believe that, LOL.)

Exploring ideas about what to do for the flooring in the future. There are some cracks--I'm not keen on paying to lay down more flooring if we will have to pull it up again for more repairs. OTOH, I can argue for a reduction in property taxes now since the basement is back in "unfinished" state.

(I should note that the tent I'm selling was not in the basement--I have it stashed by the coffee table in the living room. I didn't want it in the garage, and the basement is for Bob's stuff.)

Will start calling contractors today (Tuesday). Primary focus is getting bids for the garage door, but I also want to get a foundation expert in for an opinion. There are classic signs--we know there is an issue, has been since the weird earthquake last year. But I need some hard data and ideas/prices for what that project is going to entail.

Monday was spent at the doctor's office. Just the annual check-up, but I had to take some tests so I was there a few hours. I'm having breathing issues. There were chest xrays done back in March and my lungs are fine. The doctor is pretty sure it is tied to my weight--my impressive boobage is rather heavy, so it's hard to get a full breath. Just in case, I'm to try an inhaler and see if it helps any.

Blood pressure was back in normal range, so no more meds for that, yay. Won't get results from the blood tests until later this week.

My doctor thought that bariatric surgery was a viable option, and said she would help in whatever way the insurance company needs. I am going to an informational session with a surgeon next week, plus my doctor told me of some other local options as well in nearby Overland Park and Lenexa. The journey begins.

Pictures of the Day: July 17 to 23rd

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:38 pm
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
The past week, in photos.

July 17th: I didn't have the materials I needed for work, so I spent the day doing laundry, vacuuming, and catching up on comic books.
July 17 2017

July 18th: Bento of the day - Egg and meat soboro over rice (I tried to twist the home-made pickled ginger into rosettes and failed miserably), carrot and burdock kinpira, quick-pickled cucumbers
Read more... )

(Work materials came in, so I didn't get to finish doing or folding laundry.)

July 19th: I didn't have time to do a full WIP Wednesday post, but look! I cast on for the Slow Fade socks again and have made a not-unreasonable amount of progress!
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July 20th: Soooo, one thing that I do every week (usually Saturday or Sunday, before or after grocery shopping) is plan out the coming week in terms of meals. I don't always have lunch plans jotted down, other than the days that I hope to make a bento lunch for Daniel, but I usually make a point of planning out the dinners even if it's as vague as "pizza maybe" or "leftovers, perhaps?".
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And then there are the days that I decide that I'm too hungry and tired after work to make anything, and so we go out to dinner. In this case, to Bonchon. I'd been planning on trying their Korean Fried Chicken lunch special, but last weekend we discovered that they are temporarily closed at lunch. Fortunately for me, the Korean Fried Chicken is available on their dinner menu as well!

Our server seemed surprised that Daniel enjoyed the pickled daikon side. I don't know why; it wasn't like it was particularly pungent, especially compared to various pickled daikon dishes I've made at home.

July 21st: I was actually too busy with work to take a REAL photo of the day, but I did reward myself for finishing my project on time by buying my first game on Steam: Dream Daddy, a romance simulation game that allows you to create your own "dadsona" and romance some dreamy dads!

July 21 2017, kinda

As of 7/24, I still haven't played the game. But I did boot up the game just long enough to marvel at all the character generation options. I had to stop once I got to the hair because I could see myself spending hours on just the character creator alone.

July 22nd: Niantic held the first ever Pokemon Go Fest in Bryant Park in Chicago. People at the actual event would have access to rare Pokemon and participate in challenges to catch as many Pokemon of specific types as they could, to unlock special bonuses for all players. Players not at the Pokemon Go Fest could still participate by catching as many Pokemon as possible during specific frames of time. If the participants were successful enough, they would unlock other challenges with benefits for all players, and it was heavily rumoured that one of those challenges would finally release Legendary Pokemon into the world of Pokemon Go...

We did not go to Bryant Park. Other people did, in some cases travelling great distances to do so. And apparently things did not go well. People stood in line for hours only to have difficulties connecting to the game servers; in the end, Niantic refunded everyone their entrance fee and gave them $100 worth of Pokecoins and gave them a complimentary Legendary Pokemon, Lugia, and I think they even extended the duration and location of the special Pokemon Go Pokestops.

Instead, Daniel and I went to Stir the Pot for our customary weekend brunch. This week's specials included pancake corn dogs and waffles topped with hashbrowns, bacon, sour cream, onion, and cheddar.
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And we drove down to West Haven Beach, where we joined dozens and dozens of Pokemon Go players (and regular beach-goers, and people getting married) in walking down the waterfront and venturing down on to the beach.

July 22 2017

July 22 2017

There were people flying massive kites - the manta ray-looking one was anchored to a solid-looking rig to keep it in place.

July 22 2017

We did stop around 3 PM for a late lunch/early dinner. I had fried softshell crab, and Daniel had a teriyaki chicken sandwich, because there are only so many non-seafood options to be had at a seaside restaurant.

We walked up and down the waterfront for another hour or so, and then we joined the MASSIVE crowd of Pokemon Go players who had gathered at a gym that was about to be visited by a Tier 4 Raid Boss. It was pretty exciting to hear people chanting and counting down in unison as the Tier 4 Egg was about to hatch...

July 22 2017

And then groaning when they discovered that it was a Lapras. (Most people were hoping for a Tyranitar or Dragonite, I think.)

I don't know how many people were there precisely, but Daniel and I ended up assigned to different 20-man teams so I'd guess there were 40-60 people there, if not more. I ended up unable to catch my Lapras, which was a little disappointing... but the experience of teaming up with so many excited strangers was definitely worth it. I'm hoping we'll find similar crowds the next time we go to the beach... hopefully we'll be visited by a legendary Pokemon! (We encountered multiple Articunos and at least one Lugia on Sunday, just driving around town. It was maddening, because Daniel and I can usually take on a Tier 3 Raid Boss, but anything more powerful than that is just an exercise in frustration.)

On our way home, we stopped at a Target and a Petco to pick up cat supplies. I wanted to get some Fortiflora (but couldn't find any, so I went with a different probiotic supplement in chew form) and we needed 9-volt batteries for the baby scale that we'd bought in an attempt to get a better idea of Chester and Tammy's weight (without having to go to the vet and spend hundreds of dollars).

Tammy's situation: not eating enough )

July 23rd: Daniel called the veterinary clinic as soon as the office was open, and was told that the earliest that a vet could see Tammy was 1 PM. (Which is when we had been planning to see The Big Sick with Daniel's parents.)

We got our grocery shopping out of the way and grabbed a quick breakfast/lunch before rounding up Tammy and taking her to the vet.

Both the vet (Dr. Willis) and the assistant cooed over Tammy's eyes, calling them hypnotic or mesmerizing. This doesn't have anything to do with her diagnosis; I just wanted to brag.

Since Tammy's blood work had been fine last month (and thyroid disease usually shows a gradual change in numbers rather than a sharp drop or rise), the vet opted to give her a general physical and x-ray and fecal analysis. As of July 24th, we have results and they can't find anything physically wrong with her. The one notable thing was that she has some dental issues including two absorptive (resorptive?) lesions, and those theoretically could be making her uncomfortable when she eats. We have made an appointment for dental work. In the meantime, the vet thinks that Tammy's issues could be emotional or psychological, and has encouraged us to use Feliway Multicat (with Cat Appeasing Pheromone).

She thought it was also possible that Tammy would benefit from not being kept out of the basement, and gave us some alternate foods to try feeding her that would be okay for Chester to eat as well. (e.g. dry kibble that's safe for cats with kidney disease)

For now, I think our plan is to use the Feliway and introduce some non-weight loss dry food to Tammy's diet, in the hopes of helping her gain her weight back.

After Tammy's vet appointment, we made a conscious decision to Do Things Other Than Fret About Cats, and went to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in 3D. Maybe I was influenced by my knowledge that it was based on a popular graphic novel from Europe, but it gave me the same sort of vibe as Barbarella... it felt very 'adapted from several different issues of a graphic novel', and there were certain scenes where I idly wondered if the dialogue had worked better in the original French.

I loved the designs of the aliens and their environments. It's definitely a visual feast.

I had originally intended to buy myself some overpriced theatre candy as a treat, but I ended up ordering a fresh fruit mojito at Lucky Taco for dinner.

July 23 2017

They were out of strawberry, so I went with the watermelon which was actually quite good.

And so ended another busy week.


Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:06 pm
reynardine: (solitude)
[personal profile] reynardine
I put my new tent up for sale. I'm first listing on my FB page and on the Calontir page (give locals first chance), but will post on SCA Yard Sale FB tomorrow. The tent is brand new and never used, so I think it will sell.

It was a heartbreaking decision. I feel like I've shut the door on a dream. But with my health issues, Bob's schedule (and lack of enthusiasm for camping), and now these house repairs, it makes more sense to sell the tent rather than devote more money towards camping (I would still need to get a few more items, the most expensive being a portable battery for the CPAP machine.)

Not camping will most probably kill my chance of ever getting a peerage, but I need to make peace with that, and enjoy the hobby just as it is. There is plenty going on locally, various indoor events, and two big Arts & Sciences events a year to look forward to. Lilies is still close enough to daytrip, and someday I will make it down to Gulf Wars, and stay at my cousin's house.

But yeah, my tent. I loved that tent. I loved the possibilities that I felt because I had such a wonderful tent. I had plans for banners that we would post outside, and ideas about painting it.

But life is full of choices, and I choose to be pragmatic.


When the Rain Came In

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 am
reynardine: (lighthouse_white)
[personal profile] reynardine
You know, I had so many snow icons from when we lived in Iowa. I need some storm icons for here in Kansas!

Huge, violent storm hit the KC metro last night. Thunder went on for hours, 70 to 90 mph winds, power outages (not here, thankfully), trees down, and flash flooding. Bob had to drive home through the deluge and had issues because there was so much water on the streets, the rain was coming down so fast.

And...our basement sprung a leak. Not a huge one, but bad enough. The idiot previous owner (who I am really growing to detest, as we keep stumbling on problems because she couldn't be bothered to take care of the house) put carpeting all through the basement. Carpet in the basement is never a good idea--even the best of basements get water in them.

Anyway, we're not sure yet of the source. There are foundation issues (need to get a specialist out here to figure out the extent), but this is not in the same area.

Bob has his desk in that corner, and loads of stuff stacked there, so we had to move a bunch of stuff. Some of his art prints were ruined, but luckily, he kept most of them in plastic sleeves, so only a couple had to be thrown out. But he's going to have to cut out a hunk of the carpet on Monday so that we don't get mold.

I don't remember if we took our dehumidifier with us when we left Dubuque. I think we left it at the house--that basement needed it! We need to buy one to help with the moisture issue. Bob has a ton of books down there.

My dad is loaning us money to help with the garage door, once I get estimates/bids in. So that's one less worry in a stack of trouble.

I had to back out of one of the things I'm doing for Feast of Eagles next weekend--it was a display about the Siege of Orleans. The organizer was never clear about what exactly she wanted from me. I'm already working gate in the morning, running the pre-print table in the afternoon, helping with the feast prep the day before, plus I've donated one of the prizes for the tournaments, and several items to the "Fish in a Barrel" raffle. NO ONE can say that I'm not doing my share of the work.


Jul. 21st, 2017 07:57 am
reynardine: (xtra_fine)
[personal profile] reynardine
I've decided to start looking into bariatric surgery again. I tried for it seven years ago, even taking the nutrition course necessary, but the hospital (University of Iowa) turned me down as a candidate because I have bipolar disorder. Since that time, there have been more studies done that show that bipolar patients are just as likely to follow post-operative directions as anyone else.

I will have to get documents from my psych doc, but I think he will cooperate. I still have episodes (that doesn't go away) but I recognize them and deal accordingly.

I'll be talking with my primary doctor next week about this, and have an informational meeting set up the week after that with a surgeon to see what options are available locally and also to get a handle on what the costs might be.

My father, who had tried for the surgery some time ago, found out the hard way that most doctors have an upper age limit (usually 55 to 60 years old), so if I plan to do this, I only have a few years to act.

The fact is that I weigh almost 300 lbs. I've had some limited success with diets, but the weight always comes back, especially when I have to take seroquel. I look and feel extremely unattractive, my hips, knees, and ankles are badly stressed, and it's difficult to find clothing that fits anymore.

Enough is enough. I know the surgery can work--both my brother and his wife have had it. They still have to work at keeping weight off (that never ends), but the surgery gave them the running start they needed.

Cheaper Than Rent, Yeah

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:42 pm
reynardine: (blink)
[personal profile] reynardine
This house--it's like it can hear us! Bob and I were chatting the other day about the garage door. It is original to the house, a double-sized wooden door with no insulation, which explains some of our cold problems in the winter (our bedroom is directly above the garage). We were making note of the wood rot/water damage on the lower part of the door.

Today, Bob somehow hit one of the side rails with my car mirror (Cue RAGE WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY LITTLE RED CAR THAT I LOVE??!!!), and the door wouldn't close. He got out some tools and hammered the rail back into place, but it is badly rusted and the area around it has some significant wood rot OMGWTF. There are bolts that are, I kid you not, tied into place with bits of rope. We actually took some rope and tied another bolt down so that it would not slip out of the rail. This is a temporary fix.

So now I need to start calling around and getting bids/estimates to replace the door. This time, we want a good one, preferably insulated steel (although vinyl might do). I don't know if we'll have to replace the garage door opener, but odds are good we will since the door will be much heavier, and that thing looks like its on its last legs as well.

Poking around online, it looks like we'll be out $1,500 to $2,000 for the whole thing? Bah.

Granted, owning is still cheaper than rent, especially in this area where the rents are rather high, plus I know at least three people who are having to move because the house they live in is being sold out from under them. House ownership costs money, no getting around that. It's frustrating, though.

Let's see, since moving here 4 1/2 years ago, we have had to replace:

The front door
The back door
The back deck
The front window(s) (two regular windows plus an oval display)
The water heater
The washer and dryer (did that when we moved in)
The guest bathroom toilet
The garbage disposal
Some of the gutters

plus extensive repairs on:

the plumbing
the irrigation system (every freakin' year!!)
three closet doors
two bedroom doors

And we're saving up for:

Repairing the foundation on the south side of the house
Repairing/replacing the concrete work (front steps and driveway)
Repairing settling damage on the outside front, second story
Repairing wall cracks (from foundation settling plus incorrect installation of drywall)
Painting the entire interior
Replacing the upstairs carpet (with pergo-type flooring)
Replacing the basement carpet (with laminate over a basement-type base)
Replacing the backyard fence
Replacing the Master bathroom toilet and the basement toilet

If we decide to stay here after Bob retires:

Replacing the siding
Replacing most of the windows
Exterior painting
Solar panels, maybe?

We also have to consider usual wear and tear on things, so odds are good we will eventually also have to replace some other appliances, the furnace and air conditioning, and possibly the roof.

This is why we don't have money to do much travel!

Taiko Workshop 1

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:39 pm
reynardine: (kaze_hikaru_rabu)
[personal profile] reynardine
Still a bit woozy, but I went ahead to the taiko workshop yesterday evening. I don't know when they'll offer it again, so I didn't want to miss my chance!

I've no previous experience with taiko, so it was all new. We learned some stances and hand positions while holding the bachi (drum sticks). It's very much like shodo (Japanese calligraphy) in that everything is rooted in FORM, and yes, you do need to do the form correctly because if you cheat now, it'll catch up with you later.

The most difficult part was the stance--a wide "horse" stance with knees slightly bent, but you have to keep your back straight and not lean over the instrument. I'm heavy and have bad knees, so this was a challenge, but I did my best! Taiko was fun and i learned a lot, so I'm glad I went, and am looking forward to the next three weeks' classes.

I came home and took some pain meds to stave off problems and that seems to have worked. I'm a bit sore, but not too bad. They were very careful to make sure everyone stretched before working on the drills!
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
By a strange coincidence, every Monday has found us (or at least, Daniel) driving to our vet. On Monday the 3rd, Chester had her follow-up appointment for her mystery eye goop (no cause found but her conjunctiva is looking good). On Monday the 17th, Chester got an ultrasound done to check on the status of her kidney disease and enlarged ureter. (good-ish news: kidney and ureter are still enlarged but the same size as the last time she got an ultrasound done, so her condition is not progressing too quickly. The vets want us to try out a kidney/renal diet for her, which involves less protein and less phosphorus which will take less of a toll on her healthier kidney. We had been working on getting her higher protein via canned food, so this has left me feeling decidedly mixed.)

Monday the 10th is when we picked up Pan's remains.

Read more... )

I couldn't bring myself to photograph the urn (which came to us in bubble-wrap, in a black paper bag). So the photo of the day for Monday the 10th is the bento I packed for Daniel's lunch that day.

June 10 2017

July 11: A while back, I installed an app called OpenCamera on my phone, because I wanted a camera app with a macro mode, maybe one that would let me fiddle with white balance, etc. And for a while I was pretty happy with it! But after my phone updated to Android 6.0, I noticed that the photos I was taking with OpenCamera were looking kind of... dark.

Comparison )

I dunno, man! Open Camera seems to be one of the best-rated free camera apps out there, but I'm not thrilled with how dark some of these photos are turning out. I can't find any comments on the Google Play store indicating that other people are having this issue (although I did find a post on StackOverflow complaining of dark photos when using the Camera2 API... I remember seeing Camera2 API mentioned in the release notes for Open Camera). I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Open Camera, and it doesn't seem to have helped.

I'm kind of torn between deleting Open Camera and holding onto it in the hopes that the next update will fix this issue.

July 12: Tammy kept me company on the couch as I took my WIP Wednesday photos.
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July 13: Bento of the day: beef hamburg, cucumber asazuke (lightly pickled with salt and ginger), carrot pickles from the farmer's market, tamagoyaki
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July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day! We got a macaroni and cheese pizza from our favorite pizza place (or... my favorite pizza place, anyways) and settled in for an evening watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in preparation for seeing War for the Planet of the Apes the next day. It turned out that I had forgotten a lot of the characters' names and a lot of the events of the movie as well.
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July 15: We were going to get breakfast/brunch at our usual place, but Stir the Pot was unexpectedly closed. By sheer coincidence, the owner was there and was able to reassure us that it was just a plumbing issue (apparently one that was supposed to be fixed on Thursday, but acted up again on Saturday -- two of their busiest days) and that they'd be open the next day.

So we went to Cracker Barrel, where I drowned my sorrows in hashbrown casserole and biscuits with gravy.

And then we went to see War for the Planet of the Apes. (No post-credits scene.) We did some shopping but opted to save grocery shopping for Sunday so that we could get Blizzards at Dairy Queen and not worry about them melting in the car.

July 15 2017
(I applaud whoever drew that cute Spider-man on the sign and noted that he wasn't old enough to order any of his namesake drinks.)

July 16: Brunch at Stir the Pot! I was very excited to try out the Blueberry Bread French Toast (I'm not normally a huge French Toast fan, but this featured home-made blueberry bread and blueberry compote).

July 16 2017

The kielbasa Benedict was tricky to eat but also delicious.

After grocery shopping, I used up a bunch of cereal and hot sauces to make snack mix.

July 16 2017

This became our dinner.
reynardine: (sick)
[personal profile] reynardine
Up all night last night, back and forth to the bathroom. I think it may have been food poisoning. Stomach was in full rebellion. Mint tea helped, though. Feeling better but dragging today. Decided not to go to Baronial sewing night. We ended up watching a few episodes of The Expanse, Season 2. (Really, one of the best sci-fi series I have ever seen, even if somewhat grim.)

As it happens, on the Famous Womens Project FB group, there was a discussion about the pleats on a number of the dresses that people were wondering about. The Cornificia dress also has these pleats. In my first bit of research, I found a number of examples in religious paintings of the Virgin Mary during the mid-15th century. Turns out a lady over in Northshield (Annetje van Leuven) did a good bit of research on this type of dress some years ago, and she shared a number of pictures of some extant garments that had the same pleating.

Definitely food for thought. My dress is structured a little differently, but it seems that the extant garment had some extensive adjustments in the 16th century. Then again, I'm not entering this for Arts and Sciences--this is to help someone doing a photography project. However, I'm picky enough to want to get things right, just because.

All kinds of ranting online today regarding the new SCA "Bullying and Harassment" policy. I'm sad that we even need to have something like that spelled out in a society supposedly devoted to the ideals of chivalry, but OTOH, I've been in the SCA a very long time and seen some very ugly behavior. It's not as rare as it should be.

I think the policy is badly written, though. Way too vague, and I'm afraid that it could be misused because of that. Calontir's King Damien, who grew up in the SCA, put out a calm and measured statement about his ideas on the policy. We'll see what happens.

Okay, off to bed. I think the worst of the stomach problems are over--I really do not want to miss shodo tomorrow morning and taiko tomorrow evening!

小鳥の歌 76

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:26 pm
reynardine: (fox_stars)
[personal profile] reynardine
A little bird sings
In the surrounding darkness
Only crickets chirp
The fireflies dance and die
My God it’s full of stars

link: glow of fireflies in the twilight to fireflies dance and die.

“My God it’s full of stars” is from Arthur C. Clarke’s Novelization of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Although widely believed to have been said in the movie, it actually wasn’t. I refer here to things I thought I heard, but were not actually said. That seems to happen to me a lot nowadays. I don’t like it.

The poem can be read forwards or backwards.
reynardine: (summer_shells)
[personal profile] reynardine
Bob still has a couple of days off (he took last weekend, and then his schedule turned out in a way that he had 10 days off in a row). We have a massive heat wave hitting now (heat index in the 100's to 110's F), so there's not much incentive to go out anywhere. And the Y's pool is closed for repairs this week, too!

The local Taiko group (Three Trails Taiko) is holding a introductory workshop over the next four Wednesday nights, total cost $30. I decided to give it a try, especially since they are here in Olathe (no driving 30-45 minutes to some spot in Kansas City). "Three Trails" is actually a reference to Olathe, which is where the three main trails to the Old West (the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail) all converge. Olathe was and continues to be a railroad town, although fortunately, most of the tracks are on the other side of I-35 from where we live.

I don't know anything at all about taiko, so I figured if nothing else, I will learn something new. If I do like it, maybe it will be a way to meet more people and have fun.

Still doing shodo, but it is mostly a solitary thing. I meet up with my teacher usually once a week (or so).

Went to the Shire's Cooks Guild meeting on Friday. They were taste-testing some of the recipes for our event's feast later this month. I was so nervous, but everyone made me feel welcome and didn't mind all my questions. And I got a delicious meal, too!

Saturday was CalonCon, which is a day of business meetings for local SCA officers. Last year I was with the Chatelaines (not fun), then sat in with the Heralds because ours had to work. This year, I am the Shire's Herald, so I just showed up for that meeting. Despite all the nitpickiness of Heralds' work, heralds themselves are pretty fun to be around, especially with all the puns and jokes they like to sneak into names and devices. Got some questions answered, heard some stories, good meeting.

But I had a bad people hangover afterwards. Ysabel texted me to see if I wanted to come over and play board games with some of the Shire folk, and I had to turn her down because I was already in my pajamas at 8 pm. The day was fine, but being around so many people just exhausted me.

Sunday was doing laundry, napping, and watching some British comedy called Upstart Crow. We waited to watch the Game of Thrones premier until this morning (no spoilers--dang, it was good!).

I meant to cut out and experiment with the sleeve on the Cornificia Dress (I think I figured out what was wrong, after watching some Youtube videos about inset sleeves), but was so not in the mood to mess with sewing today. Need to do that tomorrow, though. Both the chemise and the dress use that same sleeve, so I have got to get it correct before I cut out the good fabric.

I put my new song up in the Shire FB group. It's called The Falcon's Cry and is sung to the tune of Palestinalied, a 12th century German song. I'd mentioned at the meeting and at Cooks Guild that I thought it would be fun for the Shire to sing Their Majesties off to war, since ours is the last event before they head out to Pennsic. (Not to mention, our theme is the Hundred Year War.) Some folks encouraged me, but now that I've posted it, there's been no response at all. Bob liked it out of pity (although he says it's good, but he can't go to the event anyway).

I have to decide whether I want to try to sing it on my own. See, this is why I consider myself a poet rather than a bard! I'm not a bad singer, but I'm a high soprano and better suited to choral singing. (Also super-sensitive to comments about When Fat Ladies Sing. Yeah, people are cruel.)

小鳥の歌 74 and 75

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:12 am
reynardine: (longing_christina)
[personal profile] reynardine
These sacred feelings
Enshrined upon an altar
Trapped behind my teeth
The river breaches its banks
I cannot outrun this flood

Link: Enshrined to Enshrined

The minutes linger yet
Time with her winged sandals
Goes racing past us
As fleeting as the glow of
Fireflies in the twilight

link: cannot outrun to racing past us

Written for the occasion of Rhodri ap Hywel’s birthday

Rising Heat

Jul. 14th, 2017 05:33 pm
reynardine: (summer_hot)
[personal profile] reynardine
Typical Kansas summer--super hot and humid air-you-can-wear weather, followed by a huge storm that takes several hours to go through the area. Listening to non-stop thunder for over 2 hours is an almost surreal experience.

On the plus side, we did need the rain, yay.

After months of soul-searching and dithering, I have finally decided to sell the Soulpad tent that I got for my birthday. Reasons include:

1. Slow recovery from the illness in March. It is taking much longer than I thought. It's difficult to have fun at an event when you are exhausted.

2. Bob has progressed from "I'm not really into camping" to "I hate camping and don't want to do it." I had hoped we could go to Gulf Wars and/or Pennsic together. He has made it very clear that he does NOT want to do that. Oh, he would go if I went (to make sure I was okay) but Bob at his most passive-aggressive is no fun to deal with.

3. Auxiliary costs--due to the CPAP machine and my bad knees, there are additional items that I would need to camp comfortably and they are outside of what I budgeted. Plus cooking items--I have two coolers, but nothing to cook with. People spoke up at the time with promises of help, but those seem to be just words. The fact is, I don't want to have to depend on people for physical help. It's their vacation, too.

4. I don't want to spend so much money and time on something that doesn't make my heart sing. The majority of my SCA experience has been with non-camping events (or just day-tripping at camping events). Because of where we live, I can continue doing that and still be active. And push comes to shove, if I want to do Gulf Wars, my cousin lives 45 minutes from the site and has invited me to stay with her. And Pennsic? Well, been there twice, done that twice, checked that box off twice.

The tent has not even been used, and I got it on sale (with free shipping), so I'm pretty sure I can sell it for what we paid for it.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's grey and overcast again, and I just discovered that my plans to have Kraft Mac and Cheese for National Macaroni and Cheese day have been sunk by a distinct lack of normal Mac and Cheese in the house. We do have a box of Pokemon Diamond/Pearl Mac and Cheese, TMNT Donatello Mac and Cheese, and Star Wars Mac and Cheese but:
1. I didn't necessarily buy these to eat, and
2. I am pretty sure that these are all several years past their Best Before date.

So I'm drowning my sorrows in tea and chocolate. Or chocolate-flavoured tea, anyways.

I think I bought Dark Chocolate Delight from the Davids Tea's big retiring tea clearance sale. I'm not sure when this tea was most recently offered by the stores; I'm seeing reviews that say it was part of the 2015 Advent Calendar and others that indicate that it was a regularly available tea. I can't find it anywhere on the US Davids Tea site, so I'm guessing it was retiring and then sold out online.

From the Canadian Davids Tea site, which still had this listed:
"dark side of the brew

What is it about dark chocolate? Its taste is sinfully decadent, but studies say it might actually be good for you. But wait – it gets better. Now you don’t even have to wait until dessert to get your fix. With this black tea blend, you can treat yourself anytime, anywhere. With cocoa shells, blueberries and big chunks of luscious dark chocolate, it’s a deliciously rich taste of our favourite indulgence. Welcome to the dark side…

Black tea, spiced dark chocolate (cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, ancho chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, allspice, clove, chipotle chili, ground vanilla), blueberries, cocoa shells, natural chocolate flavouring."

One of my first DavidsTea purchases was a big bag of their Blueberry Jam black tea, and I'm a big fan of chocolate-covered fruit, so this sounds right up my alley. I brewed up some of the Chocolate Cake tea to compare, but I suspect it is an unfair comparison.

Dark Chocolate Delight has actual chunks of spicy dark chocolate in it. I thought they might be cacao nibs or cocoa shells or something, but I just fished one chunk out of the loose leaf tea and nibbled it and... yup, it's chocolate. Meanwhile, the Chocolate Cake tea has cocoa, white chocolate curls, and sprinkles. It's no contest, the Dark Chocolate Delight has a much better chocolate flavour.

The berries are kind of muted, and the sheer amount of actual chocolate in this thing means that it'll start to congeal as it cools down, and also it won't be great for re-steeping (since most of the chocolate will have melted into the first cup). I also wonder how this tea does in warmer climes; does the chocolate just melt into a lump at the bottom of the bag or tin?

I'll probably get another bag or two of this if it makes a return (and if the price is right... looks like I got this at $5.99 for 2 oz, which is a terrific deal).
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone

So, last week I was pondering whether I should put the Slow Fade socks aside for now and cast on for something simple to knit in bed, since I was making so little progress.

As it turns out, Knitty.com had released corrected patterns and charts for Slow Fade last month and I didn't notice, because I hadn't refreshed the page. So I ripped out all of my progress and I guess I'll be casting on for the Slow Fade socks again at some later date.

In happier news, I finished one sock and cast on for the second of the pair.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Schatzi socks by Shannon Okey from knitgrrl52
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne Fingering in Mt Tabor

I actually had to rip out the toe decreases because my pinkie-toe was feeling cramped. I knit the foot until my pinkie-toe was safely covered, then followed the pattern directions and decreased until I had 18 stitches per needle, then did one more decrease row. A perfect fit!

I can't remember whether I've made any significant progress on the Forest Ridge shawl, but I did get the WIP on my bigger circular cord so I could show off what it looks like now.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Forest Ridge by Mary Formo
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Pacific (probably)

I'm still working on the sleeves for the Lycka tee. The front of this tee has more lace and fewer interminable rows of stockinette stitch, so I might be able to finish it in time to wear this summer, who knows?

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Lycka by Stefanie Schuster
Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in Blackberry

The Wolkig cowl is coming along slowly. I'm starting to get concerned that this cowl is going to be TOO long (I'd guess that it's somewhere between 10" and 12" in height right now?) but it does scrunch down, so I guess it's not that big of an issue. I'll keeping knitting until the yarn runs out, just as the pattern says.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Wolkig by Martina Behm
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in Winchester Mystery House

And finally, I have again forgotten to photograph the Conundrum shawl/scarf. It's probably just as well, since the last thing I remember about it is sitting in the vet waiting room, ripping out several rows because I'd made a mistake.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's kind of gray and gloomy and overcast this morning, but I'm hoping that the sun will come out.

(UPDATE: hahaha nope, there was a severe weather/thunderstorm/hail warning around 1 PM and it's been raining pretty hard since 2, with a few bouts of thunderstorms.)

Today, I'm trying out an herbal tea sample from Davids Tea.

I was curious as to how the Frozen Raspberry Herbal differed from the Blackberry Blizzard Herbal, since both of them are berry + creamy yogurt herbal tisanes. So I compared a freshly brewed cup of Frozen Raspberry Herbal (poured over ice) and some Blackberry Blizzard that I've cold-brewed in the fridge overnight. And...

1. Blackberry Blizzard is pale pink.
Frozen Raspberry is a much brighter red.

2. Blackberry Blizzard is delicate berries and hibiscus and a touch of cream.
Frozen Raspberry is straight-up sour.

With Blackberry Blizzard, I can't say for certain that I taste the blackberry. I mean, it's certainly SOME berry, but I couldn't tell you if it was blackberry or blueberry or a generic mix of woodland fruits or what. Frozen Raspberry, though, is INCREDIBLY raspberry. I can almost feel the seeds getting stuck in my teeth (note: the tea does include freeze-dried raspberries but there are no loose seeds floating in the tea). Maybe it's because I brewed this hot and poured it over ice, but... it's a really vibrant flavour.

Official description for Frozen Raspberry:
"berry delicious

We’re just gonna go ahead and say it – we’re total raspberry addicts. Seriously, how can anyone resist these deliciously tempting berries? They’re sweet, fruity and bursting with summer freshness. We all know raspberries taste great straight up. But have you tried them as an iced tea? Gamechanger. We kicked this blend up a notch with a creamy swirl of yogurt. The result? An icy treat that tastes just like a raspberry fro-yo. We won’t judge if you go back for seconds.


Apple (apple, citric acid), sugar, raisins, hibiscus blossom s, carrot, yogurt pieces (yogurt powder, sugar, maltodextrin, modified starch, citric acid), beetroot, raspberry, natural and artificial raspberry and strawberry-cream flavouring."

...seriously? RAISINS?