Monday, May 22, 2017

Duck 50

Nod made me a party on my birthday. He told me that he'd reserved a park shelter and invited some folks. Before we went to California I woke one night and my brain decided to spend some pre-dawn time worrying about what we could offer guests as far as food/entertainment. Dumb brain. Then we were traveling.

Oh NorCal, you were so beautiful for our visit. The friends were beautiful too. The family time was great. It was wonderful to share this part of the world with our kids who are now old enough to appreciate and remember it. And if you go to the Bay Area in summer, just throw that fleece layer in the suitcase. It doesn't weigh anything and you will probably need it.

Teeny family on the beach at Tennessee Valley cove.

Family+friend once again heading away from me in Clarion Alley, San Francisco.

We came home and did school/work things. The day before my birthday there were thunderstorms and I pouted. I thought about cancelling because the grass would be wet and it might be muddy and it wasn't going to be very warm.

But I decided we could light some charcoal and toast hot dogs and marshmallows. (Works for 5 or 50.) And that would be kinda entertaining and I got on board. In the event it was chillier than I expected but a good quorum came out and stayed way longer than I expected. I cut the last two pink roses and put them up with some crepe paper. Lots of kids ran around. It was a fun party!

On my birthday: I jogged. I smelled honeysuckle after the rain. I got a bunch of promising looking novels at the library and started a murder mystery that has sucked me in. I finished reading a long letter from SWW - no better present. I drank some wine. I got some book and tv recommendations. I put on Jane Siberry's The Walking and it had me singing and made my heart swoop. Such great stuff.

That anniversaire was better than I expected all around.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Going to California this weekend. I am a little avoidant and a little panicking about the prep I haven't done. I just emailed the Danish with my itin. Proof that this blog is an external thought tool for me. Worry in writing and then take action. I'm worried we're going to spend the whole time looking for buses while the graduating senior skives off to be with his friends. (Which is what I'm sure I did as a graduate.) Well, we will enjoy each other's company and eat well too. I'm really looking forward to seeing the wonderful and dynamic AM.

I need to make a big stir fry to use up all the stupid fresh vegetables I just bought. I guess if I stir fried it all I could freeze it for the delight of future me.

I mowed front and back on Sunday and Monday. It can just grow long while we're gone. The pet sitter is booked and we'll give her the key tomorrow. The dog needs an allergy injection but she's already bathed.

Breathing in and out. Have you see the lovely geometric figure that expands and contracts to help steady your breathing? The gif is at the bottom of a post by The Bloggess. Nina Paley has a snake goddess animation that I think could be used for the same purpose. Here's her gif. I wonder if the html will break...

snake goddess6gif_5

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Peep out

The sun has come out and large white cloud zeppelins are floating by. What a release. Got the front mowed in our one day between storms earlier this week. I am very proud of it. My hollyhock next to the front steps is growing taller all the time. I am excited to see it bloom this year. Pretty sure it'll be pink. I hope it makes lots of seeds and I will spread them all around.

I went to eat at the campus ministries veggie lunch today. Tofu tacos is not my most favorite menu but it provided more food-like food than the cafeteria options have been. I sat at a table of international students discussing their summer plans and the public transportation options in LA. I didn't try to join in and whisked myself off after eating quickly. It was good to suss it out. I'll go again next year when they start up for fall.

I am reading My Brilliant Friend by Ferrante. It's going well but it still feels a little like homework. I enjoy it while I'm reading it but don't miss it when I put it down. Perhaps I will feel more involved as the protagonists get older. I had to stop reading Finn Fancy Necromancy. Great title but it didn't charm me. I couldn't get interested enough in who was plotting against our narrator. The 80's set dressing was fun but a bit forced. I didn't like it when he repeatedly used the term 'mixed tape' for a cassette of songs recorded for your sweetie. That's 'mix tape' buddy and don't you forget it. The nail in the coffin was when I realized this was #1 of a series. Ah, so I *won't* actually be getting closure if I finish this sucker, will I? Fly free little library book. I need another genre book, stat.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Get Through It

Cold rainy weekend begets cold rainy Monday morning. Populace is quiet, pale and grim. The grass in our front yard is reaching new heights. No news about our car in the shop.

We got a lot done this weekend. After all we couldn't lay about in the sun... The grass it up to my shins but pressure's off since I can't mow til it dries out. The garden is also very happy. Pizza gathering for L. K got her hair cut in a bob, her first haircut since last August. Theatre program auditions were yesterday for the summer shows. L has a callback for the younger kids' show, I wonder what will happen with the

Say what now
I'm currently in active listening mode with my body. Here's a breast cyst but it's not a tumor. Time to learn about stages of menopause and associated experiences. I hate to say 'symptoms'. Hm, no period within ten days of expected start date. Is it time for a pregnancy test just to be sure? Oh no, here we go. I'm a little off balance and truly interested to know - what's next?

Just watched Rosie O'Donnell's A Heartfelt Standup where she tells about having a heart attack. She stayed home for several days after the attack instead of going to the hospital and is lucky to have survived. Her helpful acronym is HEPPP: heat, exhaustion, pain (could be in back, abdo, neck), pale, puke. Women present with different symptoms than men and this is important info. In addition to being a woman, I like women and I want them to live!

We've all been there
Probably good for a laugh - Reddit thread on weird stuff done while on autopilot.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alley oop

We did the pros/cons consideration and decided to have the Dreadnought repaired. It has two cracked cylinder head gaskets. Which explains the oil leak and probably explains the pressure loss in TX too. My credit card company will love us as I add that on. But it's cheaper than a new car and we hope it'll get us through the next three years. Any other >$300 fix will signal its doom.

Nod seems to be picking up steam with his business. He's going on calls every day now and seems to be making things happen. I think we'll have a good idea by the end of May if it's full speed ahead or time to bail. He just told me last night that he's having a good time working for himself. Huzzah!

I'm busy menopausing and have questions. Where's that manual again? You would think that my body could tell that the 50th birthday is next month. It's hurrying up to meet deadline.

Re-reading The Truth by Terry Pratchett. A good comfort book. On the other end of the spectrum I just finished Fight Club and that was interesting. For me it teetered back and forth between seeming nostalgic (pre-9/11, big cheap used cars, no cell phones, urban slacker culture) and predictive (nihilistic young adults who lack any spiritual center or sense of possibility in the future).


I bought $25 dollars worth of plants at the educational garden center place. (No I can't explain what they do and no one else can either. Gardening! kids! nutrition! Who can argue?) It wasn't a lot of plants but they are all in great shape and are what I wanted. When I was planting the new peppermint plant I found a spearmint volunteer. So they're not all dead! The mints can battle it out but I'm hoping for a tie. It would be nice to have both. And dill and kale and at least one native wildflower.

So for future reference, plants went in the ground 4/23.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Thinking about the lower doors in our rustic pantry cabinet that are currently covered with metal mesh but are just crying out for punched tin panels:

This is something I would like to read:
In a Sherlock Holmes short story written by Stephen King he uses innards as contrasted with out'ards. I wonder if that's the actual origin.

Oh! Oh! Oh! . Note: does not contain 'dogs in elk'.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Important resource for learning about birds. Watch out for the Gator Commanding Heron.

Menaces to anybody living near bodies of freshwater in the southeastern United States, Gator-commanding Blue Herons are renowned for their ability to tame and control their distant cousins. Unfortunately for their many victims these birds often use...

Slow times at work this spring. It's difficult to work on infrastructure (webpages, workshop videos) with no deadlines. Sometimes I surprise myself with a particularly productive day.

Car had another spasm. The gas pedal didn't work and the Check Engine and Cruise Control lights came on. I parked and checked radiator fluid; it was fine. I was able to restart and drive back to work. It's at the mechanics now.

Samantha Bee coined 'marmalade hairball' for you-know-who. Sigh. It would be a happy sigh for the wordsmithing but nothing in regards to this administration makes me happy.

I don't think I've ever seen a male bellydancer and I want to.