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helwen: (Default)
Gathered some fiddleheads today. Well, edible ferns anyway. There's more than one type of fern where the curled up leaf is edible. I should have been out last week but was a little busy and didn't get to it.

My first time really harvesting in and around our property -- before I've done it near the family farm. Here...usually been too busy to remember in time, but I made sure to note where the ferns were last summer so I knew where to go looking this year. The ones I transplanted are starting to spread, too.

This week though I got the treat of seeing red Trillium flowers and purple/blue Creeping Myrtle flowers (Vinca Minor) -- and learned that honeybees like the Myrtle. Vinca Minor is not native to New England but it doesn't shut out other plants and critters from co-existing...too much. It is considered invasive in some states but is under assessment in Massachusetts. Since our dandelions are just barely starting to bloom, it's hard to begrudge the honeybees food this early in the summer.

Put in my monthly order with DoTerra - arborvitae's on the way! That will be going into my bug spray, along with a few other oils :) Good thing too, as my old bug spray's pretty much empty. This week we're learning about the floral oils -- Clary Sage is good for balancing the hormones (male or female people) -- thinking that's going to be a good addition.


About this time a year ago Fitzw came down with Shingles. He still has the nerve pain from time to time and it's hard to say when/if that will go away completely. But he's miles away from the shape he was in last summer, and steadily improving.

Celebrations remain fairly low-key for us, but a number of Peeps have been sacrificed (among other things) and the land seems to be happy and thriving.
helwen: (Default)
FERC continues to suck:


Mysogynist Republican legislator heads up Red Pill group in NH:

-- To be clear, I'd post if he was a Democrat or other party as well.


On the home front, made some foaming hand soap and the decoupaged the jar I put it in -- yes, I'll try to take a photo. Also made after-sun soother spray, some Light Blue for my travel kit (helps with tight muscles and can have some relaxing/calming effects).

Debating the "hand sanitizer" -- non-triclosan homemade stuff. I'm sure it's great, I'm just trying to decide if I'm that often in places where I'd need to clean my hands and there's wasn't a sink handy. I have another one I've made that's for minor scratches and abrasions...I need to look at the different options and see if it makes sense to have separate things.

Lots more reading - and writing - to do. I can't always sort things out just in my head, especially if I'm comparing things, so paper is better. I may print out some of the sheets on different plants and highlight the bits I look at most...will probably end up creating my own pages for them -- then I can lay the pages out and look at everything at the same time.


I have a lot more energy than I used to, but still get overwhelmed sometimes by stuff out of left field, so I know I have a ways to go.

That said, have managed to move a bunch of furniture and stuff around the past several days. The warming weather helps, as some things can leave the house now or go different places.

I think I've made enough space in the living room again to do a review of the backpacks before they go out to the minivan (offsite storage of emergency supplies in case of house disaster or unexpectedly staying somewhere away overnight). That'll free up space in the dining room, yay!


I did a tiny bit of handsewing last night (mending). Hope to do some actual creative stuff soon.
helwen: (Default)
Trying to do some copy/paste/mod from FB posts, don't always remember. Still doing better than I was on LJ I think...

This past Monday Ray's guy Al came and finished the greenhouse foundation. Next day Al, Jimmie, Lyle and I moved the two frames onto the foundation. I think it rained Wednesday. Thursday or Friday, Al and Brendon showed up with some beautiful compost -- really, looks more like top soil, only not having all the bio stuff that real top soil has (time will help with that).

Frames are bolted well and truly down to the foundation, yay! Lyle removed the last porch railing, as it was in the way of caulking and we don't need it anymore. Caulking where the frame meets the foundation, inside and outside of the structure, was started. More this coming week, I'm sure.

Lyle started bringing glass panels over, getting ready for the next phase. Al and Lyle moved the new sink/cabinet up from the barn to the upstairs bathroom. I helped some with unpacking the thing and moving small stuff into the house -- unpacking shed 25 lbs. of stuff and the other bits shaved off some weight as well -- otherwise it would have been a 185 lb. box with no handholds...

My major contribution was vacuuming, and clearing the path through the house (two possible paths), moving furniture, etc. to make it possible to get the thing inside. They ended up coming into the weaving room, turning left, then a right into the kitchen, then a right into the hallway and up the stairs (which has some winders instead of a full landing), and then second door on the right.

It's probably going to sit in the bathroom for a few weeks but it's in the room so that's an improvement.


We've been moving stuff from the family farm to our place, taking stuff to recycle or trash, etc. I've also been getting more into learning about and using essential oils and it's been helpful. More energy and brain power than I've had in ages.

Trying something completely different like stilting hasn't been bad either :) That's through a local theatre company, Double Edge Theatre (DE), which is putting on an event celebrating our little town. They travel all over the place but their home base is here; just another oddity of our little place in the hills.


The kung fu school is moving down the road, and as a way to help them with that we took all the school crafting stuff home. It took a while, but it's _mostly_ organized. Had to get a few more containers so I can play with what will work best -- and then label everything. I re-cut some of the damaged paper to smaller, more useful sizes, threw out some things, re-packaged some things, etc. I have a better idea of what we have now, which is useful for planning crafts for the summer adventure camp.

Hm....I need to schedule in some time for experimenting, so I know if/how things work and come up with time estimates...


I'll be doing some work with the DE artists on making big puppet(?) heads - papier mache, plus some independent work for some other bits. Also some costuming. Volunteer, but I could use the practice as it's been ages since I've done this kind of work.


Definitely spending more time on my feet, getting in better shape. I have a very long road ahead, but I finally weigh less than when my mother died, and with essential oils I was able to stop using Sudafed, so there's some progress.
helwen: (Default)
Ran some recycling to the transfer point this morning, then off to the family farm to put out a few bales of hay for a customer, then off to Elmer's for breakfast. Did a little with correspondence and research.

Car excise tax payment delivered to town hall.

Found a couple of tax papers we missed; Helene Leue at HR Block fixed it all up and the corrections will be in the mail tomorrow (got back to town too late to do it today).

Defective air bag (recall) has been replaced, and we looked at a few vehicles for sale in passing -- new, but now I have a better idea of the size and insides. Picked up some more containers at Target (some for us), plus a few other odds and ends -- oh, and an Easter lily for Ma, of course! Managed to get to Ashfield Hardware in time to get a carabiner for the new suet feeder at the family farm. I managed to get in a few minutes working on one of the fingerless mitts and will likely do more on that tonight. Not a bad day, all told.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Long not as in having a three-day weekend, just a lot happening, starting Friday afternoon.

Got a massage - yay!

Went down into the valley and made a quick stop at CVS, then on to Applebee's for a quick supper...and ran into some of L's relatives who were in the area for the reunion on Saturday. So of course we had dinner with them...then a quick shop for ingredients for the fruit salad for Saturday -- got home late.

Saturday we went to the reunion and stayed for about 2-1/2 hours and then L was toasty so we went home. L mostly took it easy, I got a few things done, like picking a few blueberries and giving them a few gallons of water.

Sunday we went back to the family farm in the morning for pancake breakfast (and leftovers) - and yes, there were GF pancakes. No blueberry ones, but hey, can't have everything. Hung out long enough to be in a couple of family photos and then back home. L took a nap while I made a trash and recycling run and made another fruit salad for the Pennsic Pity Party. Not that we're feeling sorry to not be at Pennsic, but it was a chance to hang out with some people we haven't seen much in the past year. It was a cozy gathering -- and really, just about perfect for us. I got some really old artwork back from Fiona, from back when cut-and-paste was a real thing using actual scissors and glue :D


Today we'll be pretty low key, but I at least have more energy today than I would normally have after that much activity and traveling. I picked a _lot_ of blueberries today, and gave them more water. Normally I wouldn't be watering established plants but it's dry enough here that the poor things are already dropping leaves...

I also worked on getting access to a small piece of furniture (moving stuff on and around a table) and finished getting it clear today. It's part of an effort to make the office less cluttered and more usable...we'll be getting a filing cabinet from L's mom soon too, so I have to keep working on opening up space. It'll be nice to get the table out of its current location in the dining room, which is still serving as a storage space for things from all over the place, but esp. the future greenhouse space.

Oh, and we finally got the tiger tapestry up on the wall in the weaving room. It's on the large side and in a frame, so it was a challenge; only took seven months...yes, another year of chaos, but we're making progress.


Made appts. with an acupuncturist for Thursday. Let's see what she can do for L's continuing nerve pain and my various issues. Meanwhile, I've dug out the acupressure book and looking at and trying some possible points to use. I used to have a routine of points I did regularly but whenever something new is added to my or our lives I tend to lose other bits.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Hey, at this point I'll take what progress I can get :P

L's rash has finished with the scabbing and is on to being red marks that are slowly fading. Pain is a continuing problem -- off to get more pain meds today. So far, seems to be progressing like a "normal" case; we can only hope.


L started to change out the old dining room ceiling light yesterday, but our replacement has a small crack in the glass so that needed a little glass glue and overnight set up. He needs to pick up a few things at the hardware store anyway -- yay trying to fit new things onto old things. The replacement was the floor model and deeply discounted, plus the crack/repair won't show once it's attached, so it's all good.


New mattress and box spring delivered yesterday. Not a bad night's sleep last night, although it will take a bit to get used to, of course. I think the last one had a 7-year warranty...which we exceeded by a few years...this one has a 10-year warranty.


Turned a curtain I wasn't using that way (made for previous house) into a body pillow case, and turned half of a pair of old curtains sideways to convert it to use in our hallway window. The other half is in the living room doorway now. So on bad hot/humid weather days we can work in there without trying to cool off the entire house. I may also hang the translucent white curtains around the stairway, to help keep the first and second floor zones more separate. I've done it before, but I wanted to wait until after yesterday's delivery.


Fiddled with cutting out pieces for making a bag last night. I think I'm at the point where I can sew today.


Oh! And not finished, but I found and have been working on finishing the edge on an old bag project. This one is a big one based on camel bags IIRC -- um, Persian? Anyway. Started two of them back when we were still going to Pennsic but the seam edges are to the outside and then wrapped in yarn, so at some point I just stopped, because of whatever life thing was happening. We've actually used them -- they're sized to hold the walls and ceiling of our oval marquee tent. But it would really be nice if the edges were done and the toggle closures attached.


Hung up a wall cabinet in the downstairs bathroom to test-fit. Needs magnet closures at the top of the doors so the upper parts don't stick out from the frame. Once that's done we'll screw through the back to anchor it to the wall.


Hung up a few pictures, moved some things back into place in the radiant room (from when I moved them to the side for the washer and dryer earlier this year), mailed some Japanese prints to a friend who is a devotee of the culture, gave a few other things away, moved some books and games into the trailer (L helped with that), did some digging and weeding, moved a trellis/hanging-pot-holder-thingie near to the patio, repotted two tomatoes and hung them on the thingie.

Hm. I guess I did a few things. Of course, what I wish is that I could do more, but hey. I suspect it's still more than I was doing a year ago?
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Nearly all the plants indoors are now outdoors or on the porch (easy to enclose if it gets below 40F at night). I've a few more upstairs to move out, but it's too late in the day for that now.

Moving plants onto the porch entailed moving a bunch of stuff around or off the porch, then moving a table and a long bench onto the porch -- bit of work, but got it done.

Also transplanted a few new plants into pots on the patio: Petunias, Pansies, one Lady's Mantle (to keep my remaining one company), and a mix of leaf lettuces.

Did you know that Petunias come in black? I didn't know that until this past Saturday - now I have two of them :)


I've been looking for a couple of nearly-finished tent bags for a week or so now, then figured I'd probably have to move the plants to find them, and I was correct. Hate have so much stuff jammed into one space; now I have room to go through what's still in the dining room and get things sorted.

Hoping soon to either rearrange or otherwise make enough space in the trailer to move a coat rack into it. It's a lovely old thing with a center post and the rack is a spiral with acorn-like knobs to keep things separate. I've used it for a few different things but it really isn't fitting into the house anymore. Since we're working on insulating the trailer and making it more usable, a coat rack is an eminently practical addition.


May. 16th, 2016 12:24 pm
helwen: (Due Consideration)
...still snowing...

Car's been towed.

Might still go out to the trailer...after lunch.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Well, so much for posting more regularly - last time was February, sheesh.


I've managed to do costuming work twice in the past month or so -- once for Disney D*C group and once to make improvements on my black steampunk neck thingie -- Collar? Choker? Whatever. It's a couple inches wide, not including the netting I used to make the ruffly bits so as I don't have a nice long swan neck it was getting crunched in the front. So I cut the front part off, re-did the hemmed edges to form a slight curve, plus re-attached it slightly lower than it was before.

It also tended to turn a bit - the buttons are hefty so likely that contributes. I'd always intended to add more to it, so I took apart a necklace and used it to adorn the collar and weight the center front. The necklace was originally made by Kayleigh and I wore it for a while and then what I was wearing had changed so that it wasn't working as well with things, so it's nice that I'll be wearing it again, if in a different form than before. I'll try to take a picture of it soonish.


Still spending most of my time and energy and moving stuff, organizing, etc. Quite tiresome, but there it is. On the plus side, have actually managed to get some stuff permanently out of the house and off the property in general -- someday we might even be considered to have space.... it's a gradual process not only because there's a lot of stuff, but sometimes I put something out and let it be for a while, to decide if it's going to stay or not. And then I made enough space to be able to open some more boxes...and then it all starts up again. I've decided I can't make all the decisions right now, so in some cases I'm just repacking things -- BUT! I was able to condense three boxes of stuff into one box, which still isn't full, so I guess that's proof that I'm still making progress...


Dryer still isn't great, and the stove has always had a few issues. They're the only things that use liquid propane, so when the company decided to charge us for the right to have the tanks on our property (we only order once a year), the decision to switch to electric wasn't hard. Those are arriving this coming Tuesday.

We need one of the electrical outlets changed from 110 to 220 so we called a recommended electrician...who isn't good at returning calls or setting dates :P Finally got confirmation he can do the job before the install (Tuesday morning!!) -- L says we probably succeeded because I sacrificed a peep the day before...

I need to sacrifice a few more, I think...

I do believe we're moving forward with the solar panels, but it's been one thing after another. Yup, definitely more peeps...


Good news - we're walking more. Bad news - still not losing weight. Probably not eating enough to compensate for increase activity levels...at least we're both building up endurance again, sigh. Being on a ton of allergy and asthma meds probably affecting results.


And, of course, weird warm weather being interrupted by freezing weather in a few days...really hoping that we actually do get snow, as they're now forecasting even colder weather than before -- would like it if the fresh greens were protected.


Some yard work was also done, and the stone altar is a little taller now. Work in progress.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
New Year's Eve we actually considered going to visit some friends across the valley (in the afternoon), but other things we really had to do left us with not enough energy. We didn't even go to Elmer's for their NYE party (which ends at 9pm so we can all go home and be comfy, lol). Nope, just watched a movie and took it easy.

Saw Hunger Games, enjoyed it. Yes, we've seen Star Wars: A Force Awakens. Twice. No, it isn't the best movie ever made, and yes, the heroic journey is not a new story. But they told it fairly well and we liked it. I paid more attention to the fight sequences the second time around after reading a few people's complaints, and I think it was all reasonable, if you're really paying attention to _everything_ that's happened. Of course, you also have to realize that in the end, nobody actually won.

Twenty-one years together for L and I; hopefully more down the road, if we take care of ourselves.

Financial paperwork for my mom's estate is ongoing -- my brother Kent is really doing a great job. Fortunately cleaning her place was the hardest part of putting her place up for sale, so I'm glad L and I could help with that...after he finished get the rest of the stuff out we didn't have time for, he got in a professional cleaning crew, who did a great job washing surfaces, rug-cleaning, etc. The place got offers the week it went on the market. Things should go all right from here, but there still needs to be final inspection, etc.

Trying to figure out the best use for the funds I'm getting from her various savings. I'll put some into the mortgage -- won't change things much in the immediate future, but will reduce the amount of interest that can accrue as I think I'll cut a few years off the end of the mortgage. I might put more into it later, but we have some things to do with renovations, etc. first.

I've started small, with a couple of flatpack cabinets for the upstairs bathroom, to replace the plastic shelving. I'm trying to enclose some stuff so I can reduce cleaning time. I'm terrible about cleaning, so if I can make the time I do spend on it go further, it's all good. We were already planning on built-in cabinetry in the dining room, but of course it's nice to have a cushion for all of this -- and plans haven't changed for how we're going to do that, either. On the other hand, when I buy new faucets and shower head for the upstairs bathroom, we'll get a professional to put them in -- one of our nephews does plumbing, so it'll be nice to send some of those dollars his way.

We took my mom's bedroom furniture for L's side of the room, so now he has working drawers and we should be able to fit all his clothing into them. I was really tired of fighting with the old drawers, which didn't have guides.

Fitting in the other bits of furniture has been a challenge, but slowly figuring things out. Getting rid of things too, of course. The old dresser is in the barn still, but I think it's going into his mother's church's summer sale or something...really, between the new stuff and the planned construction projects, it's like moving into the house all over again.

The greenhouse project should be happening this year, as well as the solar panels (yay for gov't incentives and stuff, as well as for three small hilltowns banding together to get the best contractor prices). In retrospect, it's a good thing these two projects didn't happen last year, even though it means the dining room is currently full of plants and stuff. If they'd gone forward last fall, L might have had to stay in MA instead of joining me in CA, and he was instrumental in getting some things done there.

Yes, emotional stuff is happening. I don't write about it much because thinking about things enough to put it into words for other people is hard. The fact that my mother and I had a complicated relationship doesn't help. I am glad that I went out in October, the month before she died; it was the best visit we'd ever had. Just about perfect, for both of us.

More to say, but this is already pretty long.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
A happy and blessed Alban Elfed!

Equinox - the mid-point of autumn (for me, anyway) - nights are cool, days are warm and dry, and we scurry about bringing in the last of the harvest and readying for winter. Lyle's and my scurrying is likely to go well into winter, as the foundation for the greenhouse is now scheduled for sometime in October, but we shall do our best, as always.

The Turmeric, Rosemary, Ashwaganda, and Lemon Grass are all in, and the Ginger will at least make it to the porch by Saturday. The Sungold grape tomatoes are still putting out some sweet treasures, as is the autumn raspberry and the flowering raspberries, and two of the apple trees have fruit, but the blueberries are done for the year and have certainly "earned" their rest.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Yesterday was a good day. Got the maps out to several places then home to finish getting the place ready. I don't know about the other sites but we didn't get any visitors here. A lot going on this weekend including right in town, so not a lot of surprise there. But there were two of us artists, the weather was beautiful, and L kept on working on things so the place is looking really good right now.

As regards the remainder of my congestion, I'm going to say I'm 95% of the way to being done with it. L might be another week or so I think, but doing better regardless.

As regards the art...looks like I can draw :)

No, I'm not sharing the picture right now; still working on the tree. Plus there's all of its surroundings to work on still, but my fellow artist was impressed I'd gotten as much done as I had -- pen illustration can be a bit on the detailed side, and I did draw a lot of leaves! But I think I captured the personality and silhouette of the tree, so I'm pretty happy with it, and feeling more confident that I can pull off the rest. It's been a long time since I've really drawn...

I love the work of the other artist, Walter C. He's a great water colorist. Professionally he's a landscape architect but he has a lovely feel for landscapes and nature. Interestingly, this was his first time painting a tree from life. He's observed their shapes and lines for years in his work as an architect but all his paintings have been from his minds' eye (much like birch illustrations I've done). So, a new experience for him :)

A successful day for artists and trees.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
I'm slowly getting better and having more energy -- as long as the air I'm breathing isn't full of pollen and high humidity. Still, not having to use the inhaler as often is nice.

L is a tiny bit better; we've discussed calling the doctor's office for a follow-up.

MIL came home last Friday and is still there!

L accomplished some mowing - we're trying to be minimalist on that this year, but we want outlines around the perimeter of the woods, around a couple of garden beds, next to the road, and around the house and barn. Still quite a bit. The only good thing about not having gotten a lot of rain while we're under the weather is that the grass hasn't been growing as fast.

I took a stab or three at pulling garlic mustard out, and moved some things in the barn. Um, sometime in the past few weeks I finished a skirt, gators, two regular pillow cases, one knee pillow case, a lined flat-bottomed bag, a tutu, two sets of curtains (and put up the rods for them!), and started work on creating an underbust corset-like thing.

That last one I made the body of the pattern for based on an existing underbust corset I own, but am modifying the design. I've added a center-back piece instead of the underlap placket and instead of lacing I'm doing a strappy thing that crosses in the back and closes in the front. There will still be a center front opening with its own closures. And there will be boning, because otherwise it would just fold on itself because of the width of the thing. But it isn't designed to pull in the waist significantly, more to just create a smooth silhouette. We'll see if it works.


Because we were both laid up, have removed a few things from the schedule - no dandelion wine making this year, and not going to try to put something together for Ashfield's parade next month.


We managed to get to JoAnn's for a sale, while we were in the valley for other things. I found some outrageous fabric in clearance and picked up a yard, as well as re-stocking the thread supply -- everything on sale, even the clearance. The outrageous fabric had been $20+/yard but was marked down to $12 and was half off that day, which was the final deciding factor. I got it for my bunny costume.

Speaking of which, sometimes ideas happen when you're unwell that are clearly mad and should be dismissed out of hand, but sometimes when you're feeling better, you might change your mind. Since we were talking costuming, Lyle somehow mashed things together and got Warhammer 40K cuty death bunny... yesterday, on a whim, I did a search and found some....interesting stuff. The pink Space Marine armor with bunny ears was probably my favorite :D I'm considering sticking with the pink and black motif, but changing the design to WH40K Inquisitor...
helwen: (Tower)
Requiescat in Pace, Steven Proctor/Baron Adhemar. You will be missed by many, and I am one of those many. I know you wanted to stay, but alas your body was ready. I'm glad I met you; you made life fuller and richer for many of us, and I appreciated your advice and wit, especially the first time I was Baroness of Bergental.


I was just saying to a friend that I was thinking about losing people you care about, earlier this week. Actually I've been thinking about it for a while before this week, but was still composing my thoughts in my head. However, since I just lost a friend today, maybe today is a good day to say something.

People say "Oh she/he died before her or his time", when in truth even when a loved one is older, many of us still wish that person could have stayed just a little while longer.

Death can come for anyone, at any age and at any time. Illness, mishap, violence, accident, old age...it doesn't matter how good care one takes of oneself, it will happen.

So. If you've been waiting for the right time to say something, to go for a visit, write a letter, whatever...don't. Don't wait.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Yesterday we got the car inspected and got a few things done at home, including inspection of the barn and carriage house. Good thing, too, as the plastic on three of the windows is damaged and/or missing (wind has been fierce this past year).

Also took a stroll through Goodwill while we were waiting on the car and got a book, workout pants for me, a stainless steel soup ladle, and shin guards (for a costume, of course). One of the guards is slightly cracked on the knee, so I feel absolutely no guilt about re-purposing them.

Today we picked up orange juice and eggs - easy to get in town or we would have picked them up yesterday while we were in the valley.

Pre-storm hay delivery is next up, then back home to re-cover those windows. They're on the west side so not much wind gets in there, but still.

Food prep, even with the possibility of power outage, doesn't change a lot of us, as we have a gas stove top and can use a lighter to light the burners if we lose electricity. Heat and water are another matter, but as usual, we have plans and backup plans.

Be well all.
helwen: (Due Consideration)

Steampunk event at the Carousel Museum in Bristol, CT this Saturday!

Classes and workshops from 10am - 6pm, Cabaret from 7pm to midnight. More details on classes, etc. at the link above. I'm hoping to get in on one of the hands-on workshops. Books are great, but sometimes it's nice to work on something and have someone right there to point out problems and solutions.


For those interested, showing your ticket at the Mark Twain House and Museum on Sunday gets you $6 off your admission. It's well worth going -- gorgeous house, folks there who know not just about the family but about the times they were living in, etc. This is in Hartford, CT: https://www.marktwainhouse.org/


We're only going for the academy on Saturday, as that's a long enough day for us. It'll be a nice additional "celebration" of our anniversary, without being overly tiring.

The carousel museum is worth seeing on its own merits, including being able to see some of the carousel animals being restored.


And we won't have to leave for lunch, as [livejournal.com profile] bytchearse will be there, running Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tavern. He's planned the various menu items so that they're not only tasty but easy enough to make GF. It's a relief not only to have one less thing to worry about while we're on the road, but to actually have food I can look forward to eating!



Jan. 5th, 2015 11:08 am
helwen: (Due Consideration)
We spent New Year's Eve quietly at home, as we were both working on recovering from colds. Saturday we drove to NYC and spent several hours at primarily two exhibits, Death Becomes Her: Mourning Attire, and Chinese Albums. Good stuff. Took some pictures with the tablet, but still working on getting them off of that.

The "greenhouse" has been relatively satisfactory, although figuring out how to keep the porch warm enough at night continues to be a bit of a challenge. We put up a curtain at the far end of the porch, reducing the space to be warmed by 4' x 8-1/2' and it's much easier to get it to and maintain 40F most of the time. We kept it stable in part by opening the window between the porch and the downstairs bathroom, keeping the door to that room closed, plus a couple of strings of old-fashioned holiday lights. On colder nights we'd fill some additional bottles I got out of storage and some other containers with hot water and put them out there before bed. The racks of jars and bottles I set up do help, but the porch just doesn't get enough light on cloudy days. I think if I had three times the number of containers, it would work, but the space has some limitations in that regard.

With the coming cold snap this week (down below 0F), we decided not to take a chance, and moved all the more tender plants indoors. That's most of what was on the porch, but I'd kept the space in the dining room open after the family gathering last month, so it was quite do-able. I also moved the less tender plants against the wall of the house, near the window, although I closed the window.

Before all that though, I wanted to use the long table that now has plants on it, to work on organizing the sheet music. Yes, once we stopped going to Concentus practices, we basically put the music to one side and ignored it. So yesterday almost all of the copies of sheet music were alphabetized and put into folders. I need to make a few more folders today, and L still has the singles/masters to organize, but it's a huge dent in that project.

I also emptied everything out of the music cabinet yesterday, and started the re-organization for that. Today all the instrument instruction books will go in, and I'll label those drawers.

I will also exercise today -- I'm trying to get in at least 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, at least three times a week. It's hard to do this time of year, what with the asthma and all, but I'm fending off the annual winter weight gain. I'm also working on building muscle, because I've decided to work on being able to do a handstand this year. I've been practicing one-minute planks and added in some mobility/weight training things. There isn't a lot of point to handstands, but it's something I'd like to try and is giving me the motivation to do all the exercises I should be doing to strengthen and protect my shoulders, and to reduce stress on the knees as well.

Tomorrow is L's and my 20th anniversary. Still haven't planned anything in particular, but we did have a nice trip to NYC recently, so maybe just a nice dinner together will be sufficient :) After all, the best part of this is that we still have each other.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
There are plans and then there is what actually happens...

I'd failed to note that the cabinets were also attached to each other, not just to the wall, so I had to empty all four of them instead of two and then two.

We then ended up setting up the deeper ones first, because they're stable enough on their own to just set up in the new spot. I re-stocked them yesterday. But before that, we were assuming we'd need to fasten them to the wall, so we looked at the wall and L realized that it was just sheathing for the pocket door that lets into the laundry room -- no studs. Plus the door frame was funky anyway, so he took part of it apart and re-assembled it. It's a bit more permanent now, and no worries about pulling the frame off with your bare hands.

The shallower ones aren't stable at all, especially with the under-cut on the front of the bases, so the board that had been used for attaching them to the wall needed to be cut down to the correct size for just two cabinets. I removed it yesterday after I swept down the wall where the cabinets had been - yikes, just a little dust! There were five screws in that board, but only one had actually hit a stud. O_o

L removed the spacer bar at floor level last night -- don't need it anymore, and hey, it might come in handy somewhere else. We've uncovered an outlet, and the surge protector that was plugged into it. I'm thinking I might move that to the living room, so I don't have to keep crawling in under the sewing machine to plug in my laptop.

The now-exposed wall will need spackling, a little sanding, and paint touch-ups. Fortunately the previous owners left all the leftover paint from all the rooms, and I was able to find the one that was for this room. And yes, there will be spackling -- the holes are from a couple of different things having been attached to the wall, and some of them were even used. Then there's the gouges at either end of where the board for the cabinets was -- L figures they put the board on the wall and _then_ cut the ends off to the proper length. Oy. I'm not a professional, and I definitely make mistakes myself, but wow...

Anyway, today L worked on setting up the shallower cabinets. Apparently there's a difference in level of the floor from one side of the room to the other, or something -- whatever the case, they tilted away from each other in the new spot. L considered shims, then checked to see if the door hinges can be reversed (they can), and tried reversing their positions, left to right. It worked, so they're now attached to the wall and later on the doors will be switched.


And yes, all the Ginger are now inside or on the enclosed porch, as well as some other potted plants.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
L's been busy too!

He's been moving all the tent poles up into the loft of the barn, tidying/rearranging things in the carriage house (north end of the barn), getting stuff out from under the carport that we either got from the neighbor or transfer point, and more.

Hopefully carport will be dry enough today to come down and get packed away for the winter. We've considered getting a new, smaller one, for the Honda, but we'll see how that goes. The old one isn't in prime condition anymore, so it isn't a good candidate for winter use.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Still playing catch-up, between being ill for weeks and then fall festival. Made it to one kung fu class this week though, which was nice. Currently working on a major move in the radiant/weaving room right now. There's a set of 4 tall cabinets on one of the inner walls -- this is modular stuff, so each one is like half a cabinet, as regards their width. The two outer ones are not as deep as the two middle ones. Anyway, they look nice where they are so we left them there when we first moved in -- then we hosted the Gray family Christmas, and while it worked, a little more walk-around space would be good. Plus now that we have the trailer, we have more options on where things can go.

So yesterday I finally had time and energy to empty all the wire wall shelves I put up on one wall, and the free-standing shelves next to them, and the costume clothing rack (so I could move it more easily), and another set of shelves that holds the weaving and other fiber arts books. Moved some things to the porch, made some space in the basement, etc. I've emptied the outer two cabinets completely -- I'll do the other two after I and/or we move the first two and re-fill them. The shallower ones are going against the long outer wall, near the barn loom, since they're about as deep as the shelves that were there. The deeper ones will go where the wire shelves/etc. were, which is part long outer wall and part laundry room wall (a corner). This will decompress that space a bit, plus put more insulation on the outside wall.

I'll be putting a couple of free-standing bookcases (short ones) where the four cabinets are currently, but they aren't as deep as the cabinets. The warping frame will hang over them. Might be able to put some of the wire racks there too, but not sure about that -- in total, I expect to lose some storage space in that room, but it's a little too jam-packed, and I need the mental as well as physical space to work in, so it's all good. Things have gotten really jumbled together over the years of moving and living in an apartment, so it's going to take a while to get it right.

Also have to get the ginger indoors today -- they've survived so far, but they can't over-winter outdoors and it's supposed to get down to 32F tonight.


helwen: (Default)

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