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Apr. 13th, 2009 12:34 am
helwen: (Default)
I'm not really doing the April tanka challenge, but this came to me as I was getting ready to leave the living room. It would seem the November challenge had a somewhat lasting effect (encouraged no doubt by the various tankas some friends on LJ have been posting).

I keep forgetting
That she is no longer here
By habit I look
Before turning out the light.
Goodnight my dear one, Goodnight.


Apr. 7th, 2009 11:58 am
helwen: (me1)
The Herbal meme was amusing. I like the photos of the herbs :)

Although, I don't really think of myself as leading an "edgy" or "dynamic life" :D

We're adjusting to life with just three of us in the apt. Roz had slowed down a lot and was sleeping a lot so interaction levels were lower in some ways, but L and I still expect another cat in the shadows at times, and there's more space in the kitchen now (we had moved the litter boxes so Roz didn't have to walk as far...). Peredur's doing pretty well overall, just having to adjust eating patterns (Roz used to eat some of his food and vice versa).

For those who have been wondering, no, we won't be getting another cat right away. Maybe after we've done more work around the place, and I don't think any sooner than after Pennsic.

Sunday was sunny so we got some yardwork in. Choir practice went well. Kungfu classes continue, and we continue to survive them, mostly. Kinda rough last night and today. For some reason I have a pain in my right eye and side of the head... oh well.

Hm, doesn't seem to be any hay needing loading today.... oh, we ordered a couple of bows and they came in yesterday; opened the box today. They're nifty-looking, horse bows. Should be fun to play with, once we get a target set up.

Making some progress on sewing some simple linen shirts for hiking. Two are done and two more just need hemming/finishing bits.

Need to order some things this week, while L still has enough brain matter, before work takes over more than usual. Like, a new tent! Another canvas one, but a hair smaller than the oval marquee, so we can fit more other stuff into the minivan.

And I should start tackling Southwest (craft room) again, getting stuff sorted in there so we can maybe do craft stuff in there. Or at least get from one side of the room to the other without too many gymnastic moves. Our summer SCA clothing is in trunks in there too, insulating the wall under one of the windows. I'm planning a re-design of at least my wardrobe so that I can maybe get rid of another bin at Pennsic. My goal is to get two-week's worth of clothing into one trunk....

Yup, life is definitely on the edge.
helwen: (Tower)
She wasn't my child. I've never thought of cats that way, I'm not the type. But she was my friend, my companion, and sometimes my teacher, for nearly half my life. I was not always the best student, but I did try; still trying. We learned a few things from each other, I guess.

I would have made her young again if I could, but of course that is beyond my doing. She will have to seek that in her next life. The best I could do was to let her go, and at least at the last I felt her spirit return to its fullness as she passed from this world into the next. And in truth, she looked more at peace than she has in a little while, no longer feeling the ache of arthritis, regaining in small part the natural grace that had always been hers.

She has left a cat-shaped hole in my heart.
helwen: (Default)
Peredur Mawr
Suspected mighty mouse hunter
In a sunbeam lay
Regally by small remains
And thus removing all doubt.

Yes, there were only the tiniest bits left, and since Roz can't chew very well anymore...

It would seem that the mantle of responsibility for protecting our stores has officially been taken up by himself :)
helwen: (Default)
Wednesday Night:

Folded, cut and stuffed a bunch of cards (restocking my card inventory). Put all the cards from different boxes and re-sorted so that I have one box of inventory for sale and a smaller pile of cards that will go to person use (old contact info on back of cards, not good sellers, etc.).


Attached hanger in bathroom and hung a candle lantern off it. Nice to have choices in lighting for the bathroom, and no worries about ventilation because there's a vent on the chimney that abuts one corner of the room.

Cooked pumpkin chunks that L had cut up for me. Ran around the house doing various chores while they steamed -- Can now reach my art pads again! Lot of pumpkin so steamed in two batches (L had kindly set up the first batch in the pot with the steamer-thing already in place). Got in some time on the PC too.

Walked over to Sidehill Farm and got vanilla and maple yogurts and a quart of raw milk. Excellent walk -- I started out by crossing the hay field, which while shorter in distance than going up to the corner and then turning to go down the road, was still challenging because the grass is quite tall in places. Didn't see much trash -- L and I did some trash cleaning a few weeks ago, so that isn't too much of a surprise. A cool but sunny day.

Made a basic pumpkin soup (pumpkin, onions, soup broth, nutmeg, pepper, cream at the end). I used beef bouillon instead of chicken because that's what I had, and milk instead of cream because cream is ridiculously expensive. Besides, since it was a fresh quart of milk and I didn't shake it, it was at least partly cream that I put in. Filled four plastic containers to freeze and ate the leftover bit. Pretty tasty; I think it will be perfect with a sandwich, cheese and crackers, or maybe a slice of meat on the side. I expect we'll do a roast at some point this winter.

I found the recipe just doing an internet search and there was a page of them at www.mom-mom.com. There are a few others that look like they might be fun to tinker with, like the pumpkin and apple soup.

Discovered when I was consolidating the cards Wednesday night that I'd missed some cards, so I printed out more cards, which are all now folded/cut/packed.

Had a couple of short conversations with L yesterday -- they're keeping him pretty busy. Trip was long but interesting, and only one major delay -- they had to stop for an hour while a fire under one of the wheels was investigated. Nothing serious, just something got caught under it I guess, and apparently this isn't a terribly unusual thing. He and some fellow passengers had part of their dinner by cyalume stick as the power had to be shut off while the fire was investigated.

Train seats have more leg room than plane seats do, and the over-priced food isn't as high as on planes either. Pepsi has the soda contract, but at least he was able to get Mug root beer :D

And he got to talk quite a bit with a lawyer fellow from London, who'd sailed over on the QEII.

Started work on personalizing the lovely grey hat I bought at Ultra Gal in Noho. I've forgotten how to upload pictures from the camera to the PC, so I'll take pictures when L gets back and put them up then. It came with a mini-boa resting on the brim (the soft delicate feathery type, not the big feathers type) and a net bow on the back. I removed the boa, loosely pleated the slightly darker grey taffeta I'd bought and attached that as a hat band, then re-attached the boa. So now the boa stands out better with the darker grey behind it, plus the difference in textures adds some depth as well. Then I started work on a silver/grey tulle bow & train, making a pouff and then attaching a white silk rose to it. I'm going to make it detachable but basically it will nest into the middle of the existing netted bow on the back of the hat.


Woke up earlier than Thursday but with a headache. Roz woke me up with howling. I had to turn on the overhead light because I couldn't find the switch for the table light -- I know where it is now. Seems to be some sort of old-cat-thing -- she wakes up in bed and doesn't remember where she is or something, and she can't hear very well anymore (not completely deaf though), so one has to turn on the light so she can see me or L.

Read email from L telling me the details of the train trip (see above).

Still have some plain pumpkin left -- have to decide if I'm going to freeze it as is or make it into something.... will probably just freeze it because today I have to deal with the apples. Silly me, got apples to make sauce while L was away, forgetting that he usually does the peeling and coring as I'm terribly slow. Well, some will get peeled and some not -- I read somewhere that a lot of the nutrients are right under the peel. Regardless, we've done it before and pinkish applesauce is quite tasty.

Got email update on grass-fed beef pickup -- mid- or late-November.

If I have time today I'll poke through a box of silks down in the barn and see if the black flowers turn up -- haven't seen any in the stores and I thought it would be a nice addition to the black spiderweb/bat tulle.

Headache is receding somewhat, so I should probably get a move on. It's another sunny but cold day!
helwen: (Default)
Acorn Tree Syndrome, Part 2, by Gene Logsdon. Now, even I know potatoes are harvested from underground and how a blackberry looks vs. a black raspberry.... but I didn't know navy beans were white... Interesting thoughts on people in general today and their connection (or lack thereof) to their food.

Didn't go to PT yesterday because of the lack of sleep and not feeling well. Achey today, but no migraine. The jury is out on how the stomach is doing, but okay at the moment... cats seem to be doing better this morning and were interested in food.

Took two naps yesterday, one for over two hours. Candlelight at night was definitely kinder to my eyes than electric would have been. Did get in some reading of the William James book on religions. Interesting how he finds the weak point in people's thinking processes.

It's raining but we have to go out and get some supplies. L observed that most of Peredur's problems began with the change in kitty litter, so we are going back to Swheat Scoop. We'd tried the local wheat-based litter, but it isn't the same. And since this might be what's affecting Roz as well... we'll spend a little extra if it keeps everyone neat and happy. Also, I have to say that I think the current stuff doesn't smell as nice as the Swheat Scoop.

Hopefully we can pick up a few things for CNY while we're out, but no guarantees with this weather.
helwen: (Default)
Some influence from flying to get places, but the line of states from CA to MA is my family's path from when we move to MA in '71 )

Winter Fare in Greenfield was very crowded (good for them, no so much for us). Did get to see the grain mill attached to an exercise bike (L says looks like a 3-1 ratio between them), and a video of the bike-powered thresher. That was pretty cool; not only functional, but the student made most of it from found materials. There's an interesting bead shop in Greenfield, that has rune pendant beads as well as other nifty stuff. Concentus practice in the evening went pretty well, despite our getting there late -- had a couple of errands to run beforehand.

Prep for Sunday was slowed by one of the cats having digestive difficulties (which continued Sunday evening). Imbolc/Candlemas went pretty well; folks seemed happy, and we had more group participation (S has ideas on increasing that, and we're splitting off at least on of the officer positions to help with this). Footing at the Sunwheel was a little iffy at times -- we'd been thinking it would be slushy, but there was also some water on soft ice in places. But overall we managed. Had a lovely gathering afterward; Jeni startled me at one point -- because of the cat we hadn't finished washing dishes and she helped out with that -- not something I expect guests to do, at least not since my mom was younger and we'd sometimes do that at other people's houses. Very much appreciated, in any case.

Called my mom and chatted for a while, then watched part of the superbowl game. L had to go downstairs and we all went for a trip to Greenfield because of a health emergency. We brought W back home around 1:00 a.m., and now this morning everyone is home again, thank goodness. But in the meantime, the older cat decided she needed to at least attempt to throw up on the carpet in the bedroom once an hour for the rest of the night... Hairball treatment has been served again. Cleaning the apartment for Chinese New Year may be more of a challenge than usual this year....

Exhausted and have a lovely headache, but have things to do. Maybe a nap later...
helwen: (water drops)
Balfar's Challenge )

Farm - there and back again )

Monday )

Been having some interesting dreams the past few nights. I don't remember all the details, but certain things stand out... I'll try to write about those at another time, perhaps.
helwen: (Default)
It occurred to me that I hadn't posted an update on Roselynde lately. As of this past Thursday she now weighs 8 lbs.! And then on Sunday she gave us another pleasant surprise, when she went over to Peredur's bowl and ate some of his _dry_ food. She has since eaten kibble yesterday and today as well, so it would appear her gums and teeth are finally feeling good enough to take on that challenge. Also yesterday, she went into kitty frenzies, which we haven't seen in quite some time. Also called kitty calesthenics, because she runs up the stairs, dashes into one room or another, then dashes down again -- repeating a few times. So, we think now it might be safe to try giving her antibiotics again, now that she's pretty much back to normal.

Here are some pics from Bergental Yule, thanks to Halfdan and [livejournal.com profile] etainmbw:
see pics )
helwen: (Default)
We took Roselynde in for her weigh in this morning -- 7 lbs, 8-1/2 oz. She gained 2-1/2 oz. in the past week! Oh, and while she may not care to exercise her jaws on some of the Fancy Feast, she's more than happy to get down to business if it's real turkey :D

Sewed bodice of overdress together last night, and skirt is attached. Still have to tack down around edges before attaching the lacing rings, sew on the trim around the collar, and hem the skirt.

Off to work!
helwen: (MacGyver)
Forgot to write that we took Roz in this past Wednesday for her weigh-in -- gained an ounce since she was last in (7'6"). Next weigh in is Monday or Tuesday. Currently she's off the antibiotics because they're upsetting her stomach, and she's allowed to eat whatever she likes including the other cat's food (she pushed the 18-pounder out of his dish earlier in the week...). Once we have her back up to a healthy weight, we'll see about the antibiotics.

Did serious furniture re-arrangement in printshop Wednesday and Thursday. Things are almost ready for receiving the 2nd double rack from Bill W, and stuff can easily to moved on moving day, as needed.

We have a volunteeer trailer from GW and a volunteer man with vehicle that can pull the trailer, Rob M, for this Sunday, so the forest and bales will be down in the valley, ready to go to the event. We'll test putting on the tree bases sometimes before Yule.

[personal profile] fitzw's been working on armor bits, and the remainder of my stuff's going into the minivan this a.m., then we'll be picking up Una and going up to Sir GfG's place to work on armor. Hoping to get out of there at a reasonable hour and head over to [personal profile] ellid's place for another Thanksgiving get-together. Was going to make jello salad but was too tired and a bit achey, so called it an early night last night. Another time... it'll be nice to see folks though.

Have mostly cut out two outfits yesterday, one for each of us, just need to cut out the bodice and sleeve lining for my outer dress. Still have to cut out pieces for kirtle (me), shirt (fitzw), and the servers' napkins (8-10 of those, I think).

Una's giving me 10 yards of her linen find to do with as I please, so it might become those napkins. Or, I may use some of the 3.5 oz I bought earlier this summer. I know that seems too light, but I think it's comparable to the weight of [personal profile] peregrinning's beautiful napkins, and really they won't see a lot of hard use. Although the thought of hemming all of those napkins.... I'm tempted to go to Jo-Ann's and/or Osgood's and see if they still carry towelling -- wouldn't be linen of course, but then I'd only have to hem the ends, not the long sides -- and no, machine hemming really isn't acceptable. It might do given the short time left before Yule, but then we'd just have to undo it all and re-do them properly, and it would ruin the visual in the meantime. I've been thinking about the napkins for a while, but finances haven't really allowed for working on the project 'til now. Will ponder.
helwen: (Default)
Did some cleaning of the print shop side of the garage today, moving a lot of things out that belong somewhere else, throwing stuff out, and rearranging some things. Still needs more work, but at least now there's enough room to do further work. Finished stapling up a piece of insulation I'd started on earlier in the week. Place is looking nice and shiny :)

Roselynde is back home today. She continued eating at the vets this morning, and went on to perform other normal activities, so she was allowed to come home. Fitzw picked her up, as I was at work. And tonight, she not only had a first supper, but she asked for a second supper! Yay!!

Work went pretty well this week, if a bit oddly (another cancellation today, and a walk-in urgent care today). Everybody got taken care of, yay!

Called my mom a second time, as Sunday call was somewhat brief. She was having vertigo problems this past weekend, and they've been continuing into the week. She went to emergency services yesterday (someone at the community was able to take her there, and also called my brother Kent to let him know what was up -- my other brother, Kirk, doesn't have a vehicle). End result of tests was that she had Not had another mini-stroke, but that the vertigo was simply lingering for some reason. They thought she might be a little dehydrated and told her to be mindful of that. Also, since she's been sleeping a lot this week, she may not have been eating enough. Kent drove out from Palo Alto to pick her up and take her home, and make sure she had everything she needed, etc. Plus he's decided that they'll take care of all of the fixings for Thanksgiving this year, turkey and all, so she doesn't have to exert herself. They've all be sharing in making the food before this, but it's really probably best if they do it all, at least this year. She's been trying to get her book finished up and that takes a lot of energy. I was helping her out with a lot of it last year, but it was affecting our relationship in a negative way, so I ended it and have just been one of the encouraging voices. Although I did get her a replacement reader, ellid, who is generally more prompt in returning her work than I was. She sent me part of some of her latest writing though, which I'll take a look at -- just the section on North Adams. Anyway, we chatted about fluid intake levels and the importance of calcium in the diet, etc. and she seemed a bit more alert by the end of the phone call.

All in all, not a bad week.
helwen: (Default)
Woke up with a monster headache and also generally achey - could be another weather front... fitzw was kind enough (and concerned too, probably) to drive me to the post office and bank to do business. Will take yet more ibuprofen after lunch and see if that does the trick. Also more immune system tea, just in case...

Good news! Called the vets to get an update on Roselynde. She ate twice yesterday and again this morning, and has gained 1/2 a pound! They have her on IV still (fluids & antibiotics), and some painkillers. 2nd set of x-rays shows that the digestive system is looking more normal, but they're waiting to check on a stool sample once they get it (should be soon now, he says). He said the quick weight recovery is normal for cats -- the trick is to get them to eat again, once they've been off of eating for whatever reason. Apparently cats who stop eating because of illness/trauma usually don't start again on their own. So I'm glad I called them Monday morning and started the whole process going, and that they responded so quickly when she stopped eating & drinking Tuesday.

She'll be staying overnight again, just to make sure everything's stable. Doc says she's the healthiest animal in the hospital now :)

misc stuff

Nov. 14th, 2006 11:20 pm
helwen: (Default)
Roz is at the vets. Blood tests from both yesterday and today all came back normal. X-rays show a couple of gas pockets, indicating a slowed digestion. She did manage to eat some food after the second batch of tests, and is on IV for fluids, etc. Getting more x-rays tomorrow, to see how things are moving.

Full day at work - 6 people in 4 hours. Would have been 7, but one cancelled. Tomorrow we're fitting in an urgent case for 15 minutes -- between two other already scheduled people. Since I'm the only MT on duty tomorrow, I'll basically be bouncing between two rooms during that time so I don't have to stop to change sheets between person 1 and person 2. During #2's session, one of the office people will change the sheets in the first room, so I can go straight into session 3, no waiting. Should be an interesting day... Thursday I've been asked (and agreed) to come in 15 minutes early, as one of the patients was having scheduling issues. So, after a famine, a feast. Of course, it's mostly due to one of the regular MT's being on vacation, but I'll take it :) Then next week I think I'll only be working Wednesday, but with all the holiday stuff and Yule coming up, that's probably just as well. Altho' one of the other MTs might be going in for surgery next week... in which case I'll be working next Monday as well.

Life is interesting!

Tomorrow a.m. I need to package a book order and send it off, and deposit some checks -- two paychecks, book order, and card sale. Been a little busy for going to the bank, but really need to do it now...

Yes, life is interesting :D
helwen: (Default)
Roselynde hasn't been eating as well the past several days, so I took her to the vet this afternoon. They took blood for kidney function tests, and we're trying some new food and an appetite-stimulant pill. So far, the pill is a no-go, as it made her froth at the mouth and cough up the pill. Then fitzw petted her for a good 5 minutes while I prepared the food (slightly warmed in the microwave, to increase the aroma from the food). The petting excites endorphines -- who knew? She ate some of the food, and a little of the nutri-cal.

We have permission from the Shriners to build a forest in their parking lot. So, assuming we can get enough volunteers for transport, assembly, etc., we'll have a small forest this year. Some fighters have been missing having the boar hunt, and while this is not going to be as large scale as is tradition, it should still be interesting and fun.
helwen: (Default)
[personal profile] fitzw said the pallet was okay for now, but we may be able to level it a bit more. I have the trench going under it to the side of the building so that water won't stop and pool around the pallet in the winter, which he liked.

Puttied nail/screw ends in exterior door frame. [personal profile] fitzw refastened part of the garage door frame, did some scraping, set up a ladder for me, and caulked the one studio window that didn't come with draft-stopper gasket and stuck the gasket cord in. Then he went back to work inside (got a long conference call when he stepped in and couldn't come back for a while).

I did more scraping of the frame and the garage door itself, then got down to the business of priming. It's all we'll have time for before winter, but the wood definitely will appreciate the protection. Scott showed up and did some work on putting up gutters and reinstalled the end post for the fence -- he'd had to take it out during construction because it was too close to the building.

Garage door is almost finished, just four more panes to go. It was getting too cold to paint, so I cleaned up and then brought the blackened containers inside, as they were done curing and airing out.

Did some correspondence online, and had some fun searching for table looms and rovings. Got a call from Una that she wasn't going to be able to get to the business meeting, so she was emailing me the autocrat notes for NS/BB (Novice Schola/Baronial Birthday).

We went to Dave's Soda and Pet Food City before the meeting, and got 3+ flats of cat food. Then off to the meeting! Returned [profile] lady_jade_01's cane, which she'd left in the minivan after Fiber Twist. Meeting went very well, much accomplished, including agreement that Bergental and Quintavia will be working on Boredom War again in 2007, with Bergental playing the host this time (Quintavians Susana D and Teresa G were here this month). Also, we now have a Deputy Herald, Derrick -- [profile] etainmbw's brother. I'll be working on designing some embroidery patterns of the barony's orders, which [profile] etainmbw is especially looking forward to, as is her mom, Patricia.

Some of us mosied out to the parking lot -- we needed to hand off some wood to [profile] lady_jade_01 to take to GW for making kittenpult kits. Derrick was chatting with [personal profile] fitzw and [profile] lady_jade_01 during the exchange and afterward, and [profile] etainmbw and Patricia and I were chatting about resumes, jobs, and preparing for the future. Then [profile] etainmbw mentioned that Derrick had to get up early for work, so it was time to break up and go home.

It was pretty late, but [personal profile] fitzw very kindly worked on my neck, shoulders, upper back and piriformis. We spent a little more time on the internet (I sent off a report on NS/BB to the autocrats, Fiona and Una), then off to bed. I was really beat, or I would have posted all this last night. I guess [personal profile] fitzw was too, because we both slept in late this morning. Of course, a little of that might have had to do with being woken up at some ungodly hour by Roz howling -- she'd fallen asleep in the office cat bed, and I think she was disconcerted waking up to find her humans weren't in the room.

So here we are, madly catching up on the day. I put in a load of laundry shortly after 10am, so it should be ready for the dryer now. It still isn't warm enough outside to paint. [personal profile] fitzw says he'll finish it up if it hasn't warmed up in time for me to do it before work. Time for a quick breakfast, and then...

We're Off To Vote!
helwen: (Default)
Roz came through the dental surgery fine. They moremoved 2 premolars (behind the incisors). The iffy canine was left in because they were worried about compromising the jaw's integrity. She was on painkillers for a few days, and now is only on antibiotics -- plus the various food additives for nutritional purposes. The antibiotics are for an indefinite period of time -- kidneys will be checked out in about 30 days. She's getting back to normal, and next week we can see about trying her teeth out on dry food.

Roz, etc.

Oct. 31st, 2006 08:30 pm
helwen: (Default)
Concentus practice Sunday was pretty good, even with not everyone there. We practiced one of the new pieces more, so Pagan and I are feeling a little more confident -- although we still have to work on the French pronunciations more... Then [profile] prince_hring played us some music from his collection on his new iPod, through our stereo (connected to a really big battery, for some technical reason). [personal profile] fitzw played some tunes on the piano while we sang along. Lots of fun!

Took Roz in early Monday morning so they could start the IV drip for fluids and antibiotics.

Did much work re-organizing the upstairs and downstairs back porches, with only one minor mishap with a window spline. Fortunately [personal profile] fitzw is a very handy person, and saved the day. So, downstairs back porch is plasticed and much more organized (did more work on it today). Also pantry is now better, and one wall of windows in upstairs porch is now plasticed too.

We only have one vehicle, so [personal profile] fitzw dropped me off at work today. Later he picked up Roz at the vet's, dropped her off at home, then turned around and picked me up. She is doing well, but they had to remove two of her pre-molars (behind her incisors). They decided that the canine that didn't look too hot would be better off remaining, because of concerns for structural integrity of her jaw/face. She's on antibiotics indefinitely, because of the kidney infection, with a follow-up appointment in 30 days to see how she's doing.

We still think it's somewhat amusing that the vets had to do dental work on a black cat on Halloween....


helwen: (Default)

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