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Nov. 5th, 2006 05:11 pm
helwen: (Default)
Got the last piece of plastic up in the greenhouse porch today, including putting up some lath and scrap wood in a few places to keep the plastic from billowing (which it isn't doing too much of, but...) [personal profile] fitzw did some insulating in the garage.

Then we went to Home Depot and bought:
- roll of pink insulation, can of Great Stuff
- window gasket for the one studio window that came without one (draft stopper)
- 3 4'x8' sheets of white panelling (lower half of print shop's inside wall)
- outdoor welcome mat (100% recycled rubber!)
- draft stopper for bottom of garage door
- boot trays (2 for under the greenhouse plants, one for the studio)
- heavy duty shelving (to hold the passive solar water containers, and general storage)
- Gorilla folding ladder, new staple gun, and sundry items

[personal profile] fitzw did more insulating when we got back, and installed first wall panel. Will definitely brighten the room up.

Plants are now in the greenhouse. Shelves are assembled. Too cold to paint today, so painting of containers (black) and of garage door (white) to happen tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, more insulation of garage and a piece for the ceiling in the greenhouse.

Tonight, more work on scroll.
helwen: (Default)
Activities Summary )

This morning I worked on finishing trimming the plants that overlapped onto the front sidewalk, so that shovelling snow will be easier (the edge of our front yard is lined with pavers, to keep things nice and neat).

After [personal profile] fitzw gathered up the brush to take to the city compost site, I went out to the backyard and raked leaves. Now, I should confess that I had ulterior motives in getting started on the leaves as soon as possible. I really wanted to work on getting the inside wall of the print shop side of the garage insulated, and [personal profile] fitzw wanted to work on the garage but also wanted to rake and bag leaves and maybe work more on the loom setup, which seemed to be more his focus, rather than insulating. So, I figured that if I got a lot of the leaves raked up and started bagging, we could fill a few bags and then get to work on the garage that much sooner.

Some people use power mowers and mulch the leaves into the lawn. We have a push mower. Most of our tools for various jobs are hand tools. There are good reasons to have power tools/equipment -- one summer it rained so much that by the time good weather came, we needed to borrow the neighbor's mower to help get the lawn under control. And of course the cordless drill/screwdriver came in handy yesterday, working on the table. Some people prefer power tools because it gets the job done faster, and faster is always better, right? But we think that sometimes, the process is just as important as the end goal, and hand tools are best for enjoying the process.

Raking can be hard work, but there are a lot of rewards along the way. I enjoy the motion of the rake, revealing the green grass beneath the dry leaves, the sun shining on each blade. I especially like the rustling, shushing sound the leaves make as they're moved. Some folks miss the point of raking, thinking they have to remove every single leaf from the lawn. But the real purpose is simply to allow the lawn access to sun and air, so it isn't truly necessary to get every leaf -- besides, the wind will just laugh at you.

I pulled most of the downed branches out of the piles as I went. With the wind storms we've had this past autumn, there are quite a lot of them. I know I won't get them all, but I try for at least the longer ones, because they'll poke holes in the leaf bags. Most people would complain about having to keep stopping to pick out the sticks, but it gives you a chance to move in a different way, to take a break from raking. Neither of those are the true and best reason for finding all the sticks. The true reason is so that you can make a really big pile and dive through it -- that's what Z and [personal profile] fitzw like to do :) I mostly like walking through them, or sitting in them -- something about being immersed in leaves that I find both a pleasure and restful. When the raked line of leaves gets to be bigger, I can help push it along with the fronts of my legs -- almost as good as walking through them!

Bagging is another challenge. I'm short and the bags are tall, so it's hard to push down on the leaves with my hands to compress them and make more space in the bag. So I fold the top of the bag down and slowly kneel on the bag, listening to the sighing and crinkling. Another way to get in some rustling fun!

[personal profile] fitzw got home, went inside to get something to eat, then came out to rake and bag. At one point he commented wistfully that it was too bad there were so many sticks...

We filled a number of bags, then tried to work on insulating the garage. We took a number of things out, got the area ready to work on, then discovered we couldn't find the staple gun anywhere. I finally called Scott to see about borrowing one, which he said he could off later in the evening. So much for the garage! We put things back in a neater fashion than before, so tomorrow we can try again. Then a bit of puttering, dinner, caught up on Heroes, and watched a couple of MacGyver shows.

Not quite the day we'd planned, but overall, things were accomplished, and it was a lovely afternoon for a stroll through the backyard.

Stuff

Nov. 2nd, 2006 09:53 am
helwen: (Default)
Worked yesterday, no work today or tomorrow. A bit stiff and achey today, so I don't really mind having the days off. Besides, it gives me more time to work on the court doc for Concordia and other stuff.

Hoping to get the last piece of window plastic up today, but we'll see. Once the room is all set up, I'm looking forward to being able to leave open the door to the porch/greenhouse during the day -- the sun is quite strong in there, and can help to heat up the house. And of course we don't want the plants in there to roast :) Not remembering how hot it could get in there, I hadn't realized when I started my project that it might help to cut down on our heating oil usage. Happy thought!

One of my bleeding hearts up by the studio is blooming, along with the rose. The pinks are also in their second bloom. Markers of the unduly warm weather for this time of year. I know a number of people who don't care for snow and cold weather, but the plants need it. Many pests and blights that our weather kept reined in are no longer slowed enough by frost and ice, because it comes later in the year. Hemlocks are taking a lot of damage, many fatally so, from an asian bug, all across the country. There's a beetle that can help with fighting the invader, but Romney won't support the funds for it in Massachusetts. Ash and White Pine and other trees are suffering from other pests: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-23-trees_x.htm

Being a Gray, one of my concerns is the Sugar Maples, which don't seem to have quite as immediate a threat to them, but the warmer weather is hard on their general health and longevity (think about what happens to you when you don't get enough sleep on a regular basis), and for the farmers it means a shorter sugaring season. Once tapped, the trees provide sap for the same amount of time until the tap holes heal over, but because of the weather the quality of the sap can change more quickly. Once the trees start to bud the season's over, because the sugar is diverting to growing leaves. Our family has other means of income, but for some folks it can be a major source, and finding something to replace that income could be difficult.

And of course the beauty of the fall foliage would be missed by everyone in the valley -- over time, if our weather becomes too mild, the Maples will die out, along with other northern plants. Weather changes are happening faster than the environment can keep up with.

So, what can one or two people do, especially without a lot of money?" Well, we won't be going off-grid anytime soon, but we're doing our best to winterize and use fuel with even greater economy than before. The greenhouse will be providing more heat, as well as some fresh veggies and clean air. I'll be getting some English Ivy for the greenhouse, to replace the air filter in the bedroom (saving electricity and new filter materials). Fossil fuel is a precious and finite commodity -- using it more wisely means it will last a bit longer, and the environment will have more of a chance to deal with the pollutants from it.

NB: English Ivy isn't good for kitties (if you have the type that eat houseplants), so if you get this plant, hang it or put it on a shelf the cats can't reach. It's esp. helpful in an office, around electronics.

For people who want to lower their thermostats and save energy, two things. One: don't change the temp. range more than 5 degrees, as it wastes fuel. Two: keep your feet warm -- cold floors = cold feet = turning the thermostat up.

The new studio has a bamboo floor, and we used only a tiny bit of treated pressurized wood for the deck supports under the building. The roof edge is extended further than usual on the long side, to move rain/snow fall further from the building, but also to provide extra shade in the summer, and windows at either end are for pass-through ventilation. Windows are double-paned, argon-filled. Building will be fully insulated by snowfall. Some of the leaves in the backyard are getting bagged in plastic bags (yes, plastic - but reusable for next year) and put around the studio foundation to keep wind and cold out from under the floor. This last thing is a useful thing to do around house foundations, especially if we end up with an open winter.

NB: An open winter is when it gets cold but there's no snow on the ground. Snow insulates plants -- no snow means the wind blows over the ground, pulling moisture out of the soil and dehydrating plants. Larger plants like bushes and trees will have dead or brown patches the following spring/summer, and many plants overall will die. If you're concerned about saving particular plants in your garden, you may wish to mulch around them this year.

Windows: look for leaks, drafts, and caulk them. If your storm windows aren't great, plastic them. This helps to stop drafts/leaks you missed, and creates another barrier (air) between you and the cold outdoors. Don't forget to check the doors too - felt stripping can be used to overlap the door edge to stop/slow down drafts. Bottom of door drafts are trickier -- if you have this and aren't sure of the best way to deal with it, feel free to contact me about it.

Back to the environment -- we stopped using body care products that have parabens in them. You can find shampoos and such that don't have them that are affordable. Parabens mess with the endocrine system, affecting hormones, in people and I would expect in animals too (gets into the water). It's hard to get it out of the ecosystem, but we don't want to add more to it. And I'd rather not have anything that might be causing weight gain or might cause cancer in the house. We're using Jason Organic shampoo and conditioner - nice stuff! Some Dove products also seem to be acceptable. More research needed on this stuff...

Easy way to cut down on sunblock and save money -- wear a hat, wear longer sleeved clothing, wear gloves while driving (yes, the sun _can_ burn you through a car window, oy!). Hats can be fun and fashionable. More people should wear them!

We're trying to eat at home more, save money spent on service and gas. Better for us anyway.

Hmm, looks like a couple of people can do quite a lot! And if more people did this, and spread it to other people, then we can affect some change whether the government helps or not.

Well, there's a few thoughts for the morning...
helwen: (MacGyver)
Most of the things that belong in the studio are now there. We need some hooks, shelving, and blinds, but it's getting there. Have to sand and re-polyurethane the threshhold between the two halves -- wind blew fuzzy bits all over it, and then I stepped on it and left two very clear shoe prints on it. Looking good!

[personal profile] fitzw also used renoferret's table saw to cut our tent poles down to 2"x2" nominal from the 2"x3" nominal they were. Fits better in the overhead storage space. Also, we might be able to use the left over bits for making freestanding walls (privacy/dividing, not for sound).

[profile] prince_hring showed up before I got home from work, so we went out to dinner as soon as I was ready. Very tasty grilled lemon pepper trout! He and [personal profile] fitzw are now trying to get their laptops to talk to each other and other technical stuff... I believe some of it has to do with getting us set up for uploading pics to the Artisans Showcase. That would be sweet, since I have photos from last EK 12th Night that I'd _really_ like to get put up. Bit by bit...

Did most of the foil insulation after lunch today, and found another leak in one of the window frames, too narrow for stuffing a plastic bag into, so I used duct tape. Finished that part of insulating after dinner and phone call to Una. Moved more storage bins back in. Will wait on installing plastic sheeting until tomorrow (If I'm lucky).

Think I'll go make some tea...
helwen: (Default)
Confirmed that if there isn't someone scheduled at near enough to start or finish time,of shift, that part of the shift will be nipped off to cut down on office overhead.
more on working )

Upstairs Porch: Only two bags of winter clothing left to sort for keep/give away/throw away. Vacuumed up the dead bugs, etc. Removed old plastic sheeting, took down the insulation blind fabric (need to line it, put rings on it), stuffed plastic grocery bags into gaps in old window frames, plus a little duct tape. Started putting foil insulation on wall below windows. Put one stack of clothing storage bins in, to start building surface to put plants on. Although I'd prefer to build a surface over them -- depends on what materials I can find to use for that.

Today I have to finish putting the foil insulation up, hopefully the heavy plastic sheeting over the windows, and insulate the extended part of the porch roof. Then the rest of the storage bins can go back in and we can walk around the bedroom again.

To be done in near future: make the insulated shades, get/make black water containers to put along back wall of porch for passive solar heating for the plants. Possibly get a plant light bulb.

Studio: Only one window needs staining, and the threshold plate between the two halves of the garage to be installed and renoferret's done indoors. I have some trim to paint on the windows, but that can wait until next spring if need be. Meantime, we get to clean, move furniture, and move the rest of the weaving/spinning supplies in today.

After that, some more house cleaning, then off to work. [profile] prince_hring will be arriving sometime tonight from Canada. He's got a wedding to attend on Saturday, so this gives him some rest time and visiting time. Friday night a bunch of us are going out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday, a former Concentus post-practice hangout -- great food, and the accoustics in the hall outside it are great too.
helwen: (MacGyver)
[personal profile] fitzw had a good talk on the phone with Z. I talked to Una about Novice Schola event notice stuff. She's working on it tonight, then meeting with Fiona, the other autocrat, to finalize things.

Got about half of the blue and green Shetland into balls of roving. [personal profile] fitzw read more about weaving. We watched MacGyver DVD as nothing on tv really interested us. MacGyver is very cool, and some of the stuff he does is even handy in real life :)

Tomorrow, more work on clothing, porch, possibly wooly stuff, and no doubt other stuff, then go to work.

Off to play backgammon. G'night!
helwen: (Default)
Sunday was some work at home, a site walk-thru for Novice Schola, then Scribal Workshop, the home for Concentus practice. Went out to dinner with Concentus members, then home to call my mom.

Sunday )

Monday I did a lot of work with changing from summer to winter clothing, and sorted out some things for giveaway/throwaway. [personal profile] fitzw put up the two shelves I painted last week, on the inside studio wall. Polyurethaning happened.
Monday )

Tuesday, more cleaning, more correspondence. Took a nap mid-day, and [personal profile] fitzw kindly worked on my shoulders and back a bit. I owe him some work, and a haircut too. Tonight he calls Z, after dinner. I think I'll work on turning the blue and green Shetland batts into something resembling rovings so it's a bit more orderly in appearance.

Dinner time! Pasta and red sauce :)
helwen: (Default)
Saturday night we did some prep work toward getting the house ready for choir practice, including moving the small floor loom down from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor, and [personal profile] fitzw partially assembled one end of the barn loom.

Sunday morning we finished assembly of the barn loom. One or two minor hitches - putting the cloth bar in without raising the stopper arm (slightly curved metal piece that catches on a toothed metal wheel), and putting the base support piece for the seat end of the loom in upside down. Both were easily taken care of, and the loom went together more easily and quickly than expected. Then we brought out the walking wheel and the smaller loom.

Picture of Barn Loom )

Lunch, shower, decisions on baronial awards, then I had to go off to the scribal workshop. Phred is doing an excellent job of guiding people through the scribal process, breaking it down into manageable parts so that the new folks aren't intimidated. I essentially acted as a second set of eyes and ears, worked on calligraphy with a few folks, discussed design elements with a few others, etc. It's reassuring to have someone like her in charge of the guild, with the guild head having gotten a job in NJ just recently (starting in 2 weeks!), and I'm quite relieved not to have to take it over again and just be support staff. We'll have to have another workshop at some point, where I expect I'll be doing more with calligraphy, but things were looking great when I left.

[personal profile] fitzw had stayed home to continue moving things, washing dishes, vaccuuming, etc. There were a few things left for me to do (yay! we like to share :) but for the most part things were ready. There was supposed to be a couple of new people at practice, but they didn't show up -- have sent an inquiry to see what happened, hopefully nothing too serious. The core group was there ([personal profile] ellid, Pagan, and us two), and Eli was able to come on his bike. That won't work later in the winter, so we may have to change practice sites in order to keep him. He's from Amherst and is legally blind, so he can't drive. I know he likes to be as independent as possible, but we both acknowledged that icy roads at night were not really an acceptable combination for him, given the cause of his sight issues. We'll work something out. Magnus also showed up and worked on his embroidery while we sang. Then we got out the recorders as he's interested in picking up an instrument but isn't sure exactly which one he'll learn. He wasn't certain of it, but we assured him he'd done quite well for his first time, which is true. He'll have to decide if it's the thing for him, as he's also tried out Emma's harp, and I suspect that is a temptation :)

[personal profile] fitzw got to show off the farm loom to the choir members and Magnus (who of course is now wondering if he can build one...) Looms and walking wheel in studio )

I covered up the tomatoes and the rose bush (it's blooming again). Second Bloom )

Then off to Friendly's for a bite and more socializing, before sending everyone off to bed.

Good end to a great weekend.
helwen: (Default)
Thursday evening, got a phone message that my friend Tracy B passed the first part of her EMT boards. She now has to study like the dickens for the second part, which is next month, I think.

Thursday night the wind blew with a fierce will and hammered the walls and windows of the house and its surrounds with maple seeds. Occasionally a blast would be so strong and direct that it would come in around the AC in one of the bedroom windows and gently move the tassle on the Chinese coin charm hanging there. In the morning, our tree still retained most of its leaves, but [personal profile] fitzw had to clear a pile of seeds off the top of the AC before removing it from the window, and I had to use the wipers on the car for the same.

Friday, work went well and after I came home we went for some more building supplies - baseboard materials, paint, stain, a couple of boards to begin putting up shelving. The doorframes are up and the window frames are mostly up (the remainder are cut, stained, and first coat of polyurethane applied). We had planned on going to bardic in the evening, but unfortunately [personal profile] fitzw had a headache that day, which got progressively worse as the day wore on. I did my best to help out with it, but decidedly a night of driving and storytelling was not going to improve it, so we stayed home. I got a bit more spinning done on the purple/blue Romney, and he did a bit of reading.

This morning he's doing better, so we're working on clearing things out of the dining/living room - partly because Concentus practices will be starting up again tomorrow evening, and partly because we want to move the dining room rug (very utilitarian) into the fiber studio, to go under the large floor loom. It should help some with sound absorption during weaving. Once the stage is set in the studio, we're off to the farm to deliver some box tops (school fundraiser), return a couple of trays, give an early birthday gift, and disassemble and bring back the loom. Once it's reassembled, we're off to [profile] lady_jade_01 and her family's housewarming to say hey. Sun is out, sky is blue, and I get to spend all day with my honey. Yay!

Friday

Oct. 6th, 2006 11:21 pm
helwen: (Default)
Work was good this morning. Had a couple of folks to work on, took out trash and recycling, etc. Did a bit more in the garage today. Scott painted the Swiss Coffee on the ceiling. Still some more painting to do on the last wall, around all the glass blocks.

It was nice to not have to drive from Gt. Barrington up to Ashfield to set up -- we'd still be there right now, not at home on the PC. But kind of strange too... I've been working at AFF for 7-10 years (sorry, would have to check my records to know for sure). And I do wish I could have come to the realization sooner that things just weren't working out. At least I can afford to make up the monetary side of things to the scholarship fund, but there are a few folks who'll be looking for me and wondering where I went. I do hate to disappoint. I know it's the right decision, but that doesn't make it any less icky.

Meantime, have moved forward on two projects, and considering a new lesser project -- llama with a wreath around its neck. Should make a good holiday card, I think.

One of the projects requires research, so in addition to web research I have some books on order. Some should arrive next week, and some are from England, so they could end up being a nice Christmas present to myself. Medieval English pottery :) And yes, I will definitely be showing them to my friend Odbald -- maybe we can get some nice 14th c. pottery ready for Crossroads at Canterbury. He's apparently looking into getting a wheel, which would be a lot of fun. I've never thrown anything higher than 6-7", but there are some nice jugs and cups that look really cool and aren't being made -- at least around here. Of course, I should get some books on Italian and French stuff too, but the budget can only handle so much at a time, so I'll have to see what Odbald's collected so far, and what I can find online.

Tonight I should check my supply of sugarhouse magnets and bring them up on a cookie sheet, in case the folks want to carry them at their booth. I should have plenty, so then I can set up the spinning wheel and do a bit of spinning -- my wild purple/blue Romney :)

But first, dinner!

Thursday

Oct. 5th, 2006 10:38 pm
helwen: (Default)
I got to paint in the garage today :) [livejournal.com profile] fitzw did the edge painting while I used the roller. Got first coat onto 3 of 4 walls, plus have of the 2nd coat on one of the long walls before lunch and going to work. [livejournal.com profile] fitzw finished up the second coat on those walls later in the day, plus most of the first coat on the fourth wall (former ext. garage wall). It's looking great so far, even though [livejournal.com profile] fitzw had some doubts about the darkness of the color. But with 5 windows (the regular ones, not the glass blocks), and the ceiling and floor will be light-colored, I think we're agreed it'll work out. The walls are a kind of toffee or caramel color. The shelving will be a slightly darker shade of the same family, ceiling w/b Swiss Coffee, with bamboo flooring and natural stained pine for the window frames, etc.

Scott wasn't here today, probably got called away by this other handyman who's been having some problems on his job... hopefully will be here tomorrow. After work tomorrow morning I have to clear the living/diningrooms so Z has somewhere to stay (the 3rd floor is currently not habitable), then hopefully I can do some more painting or something...

Current plan is to go up to the farm on the 14th and finally pick up the floor loom and bring it down. It's all looking great!
helwen: (Default)
Did some I Ching readings last night and this morning. Just coins, but will do something more indepth when I don't have a headache.

Z's girlfriend Sam is planning on coming up Sunday afternoon to see the festival, hang out, and _meet the other set of parents_. Kinda scary, but looking forward to meeting her. And yes, we're planning on having a camera with us to take pictures.

Renoferret's sanding the latest (and hopefully last) coat of joint compound, prepping for painting, window-framing. Will check on shopping list soon..

Washed some dishes, will put in a load of laundry soon. Called and left message for craftsmen coordinator at the festival. Then do some stretching and exercises -- haven't stretched properly in a long while, too busy trying to find things. Time to re-group, center, and then start again.
helwen: (Default)
Helped do some mudding of the garage yesterday morning. Potted some chives, checked on the state of the Sage -- looks dry enough to bottle some, probably tommorrow, as it turns out I have the day off from work.

Finished up spinning for fitzw's shoeliner project, at least for now. If he runs out, I have some wool roving left and can make a bit more.

Cleaned/organized yesterday, and doing more today so I have space to lay out and inventory all the stuff for Fall Festival. Still haven't found one of the paintings I was working on a while back. I saw it sometime this summer, so I know it's here somewhere... another reason to clean.

Finally printed up pictures for my mom that I was supposed to do a couple of weeks ago. She has some pictures from Christmas, her study, and a family trip on her PC but doesn't have a good color printer, so she asked me to make prints for her. She probably mostly wants them for backup in case her hard drive crashes. Yes, I've explained about backing up files onto disks -- she even does it once a year I think, with help from one of my brothers. To her the only real backup is a hard copy, so I really had to work on the backup onto disk with her when her book got over 50 pages ("Mom, do you really want to have to re-type the entire book if your hard drive crashes?"). sigh

Hoping to have time in the next few weeks to make some shirts and at least one new pair of pants (all in linen!). Slowly phasing out clothing I don't really care for or are worn out, so figured I could replace some of it with clothing I like and is comfy and long-lasting. I have some cotton still, of course -- got some really wild (for me) turquoise corduroy with a black pattern on it last year, which I want to make a new jacket/windbreaker from.

Re-discovered some boxes on the back porch (enclosed) that need sorting. I should probably toss most of it away - after 10 years in the house, and I've looked in those boxes a number of times over the years, I obviously don't need at least 98% of what's out there. And if I can't let go of some of the really sentimental stuff, I have a space in the attic it can go into. We store most of the baronial gear on the back porch, and now that I have more gifty stuff to store, plus the new serving pitchers for high table, I need to free up the space. It's nice to have space... sometimes I like to just stop for a moment and look at the living room, which has a nice big open space right now... good for yoga, or lying around with the cats, or both (cats are very good at yoga).

Scott the Renoferret was off yesterday helping another handyman, so fitzw did more taping and mudding yesterday when I was at work. Today he's back again, finished the ceiling mudding and is putting in support joists on the shared wall (he prefers to over-engineer for roof support, and I don't disagree with that!), plus finishing cutting the holes for the glass cubes. I love my glass cubes! These are only 8"x8", but they're just right for the space. We're running a line of them along the top of the shared wall, to put a little more ambient light into the older side - plus, they look cool. My dad used to have a wall of them as a divider in his study, back when we all lived in California, and I always loved how they looked.

Oh, and apparently there's a good side to have Cheerios twice a day, as I lost another pound this week -- not to worry, we don't have cereal for dinner _every_ day -- probably 3 times this week though... I've also been doing hit and run snacking of small handfuls of almonds or tomatoes during the day. Keeps me from munching out on too much food at once, and no sugar drops either. I may not require "second breakfast", but "elevenses" is a _good thing_.

Had a head/jaw/neck-ache this morning, but the Aleve is finally starting to kick in. Did some work on my muscles too -- I have a massage this afternoon before my adjustments, but it's only for 1/2 an hour, so I'm trying to get some of the work out of the way so she can dig into the deeper stuff. Yay!

It isn't enough to maintain the status quo (which is an illusion anyway) -- sometimes you have to push yourself to go just a little further than you've gone before.
helwen: (Default)
Folks on LJ certainly are busy! Not too much excitement here...

Did inventory on cards to see what I need more copies of... Yesterday I had a client in the a.m. Met with Deth in the afternoon to discuss Bergental's web site -- structure, access, and changes we want to make to it.

Had my Sunday night tak with my mom on Monday night (was still too tired Sunday from the equestrian event :P ) Talked about her book, research, stuff on the internet, using cleaners that are better for the environment, de-cluttering, and of course, politics.

Did some more spinning, but winding down on that project for now. Need to paint this week!

Today I have a trip to Home Depot to get more insulation, and then off to work.
helwen: (Default)
Went to the Equestrian event in Concordia. Got home sometime after 1:00 am -- had dinner with some Bergenthalers, Geoff, Nan, Mark, and Alberic's sister Marianne. 12 all told, but they managed to find a table and a booth near each other.

Saw much horsey activity, including some of what's involved in training and qualifying for the experimental jousting. Very cool stuff. Didn't see the fighting at the barriers, but I heard that went well. fitzw had fun helping out with stuff in the ring and is now warranted ground crew. I just did the chatty thing :) And got some more spinning done...

Anselim (Mark) received his AoA - yay! He'd gone up with Geoff to show TRM one of the chamfron he's working on for the equestrian champs, tried to make his escape -- and failed of course, but not before falling on his butt. Lovely court doc, and a well deserved recognition. Happy Day :)

Also 2 OSCs and a Manche. Regret I'm tired and don't remember the names of the OSCs - one is Concordia's Exchequer and the other does lots of stuff with kids, among many other things, of course. Manche was Alayne Nyvern Nightwatcher. Other AoAs were given out to various local folks. Top 8 pairs for the pairs equestrian competition were announced and called into court to receive tassels from HRM Anna. Some people had paired up with different people during the afternoon, so a few folks received more than one tassel (they were very good). HRM Brion received one :) A large contingent of riders came all the way from AEthelmearc, about a 4 hour drive, and definitely contributed greatly to the success of the day.

Some of us did a bit of singing with Rufinia [correction - Rufina], John Elys, and Deonna von Aachen, most esp. Emma and Lyle, but Pagan and I had fun giving a try at sight-reading stuff in German. Lots of pretty music!

Allergies were giving a few of us a bit of grief, but we all managed.

Lucia and Balthasar were there, both looking well, altho' of course she isn't 100%. It was marvelous to see them there and she definitely got lots of hugs all around :)

***
Tomorrow, or rather, later today, we'll be going to the farm. Taking some old roofing tiles, etc. up to put in the farm dumpster (city won't take it, and it's silly to pay for a dumpster when we only have a couple of barrels full of the stuff), so happily we have another choice. More than that, will have to wait until tomorrow...
helwen: (Default)
Did text for one court doc for handoff to Phred, received two from her to work on tomorrow. Started work on another court doc this afternoon, should be able to finish it tonight. Getting another illuminated court doc from ellid tomorrow.

Only have to work in the morning tomorrow, so have whole afternoon/evening to work on court docs, bake chicken, organize/pack prizes, etc.

Insulation, sheeting and sheetrock are all going up on the addition's walls. Yay! Electrician coming back tomorrow after work to install new exterior light to go with the new exterior door. Yay! (Hopefully we can get the inspector early next week...)

This fall Bergental seems to be a little more disorganized than usual, but things are coming together... and we'll have the award assignments out for Yule in the next week or so. Phred's painting Rob's shield for Crestfallen - can't wait to see it, she does such incredible work!
helwen: (Default)
Did some of the cleaning stuff, but no sewing. Moved some fiber stuff into the garage. And since it was such a nice day out, I finally had the courage to bring a fleece outside and see if any of it was worth saving. I bought the fleece several years ago in the first blush of my enthusiasm for learning about spinning, etc., then never had time to deal with it. It's been sitting in a bag under the basement steps all the while... So, book in hand to know what problems to look for, I dumped it out onto a tarp on the driveway. No bacterial stuff thank goodness. But there was black fungus (black tar-like stuff on the tips) on some of it, which I removed (the entire lock, not just the tip) -- lost about 1/3 of the fleece, unfortunately from the good parts. The center back of the fleece isn't as good as the shoulders or sides, and also it seems to have the most grass in it, but I'll still save it for later. Meantime, I hope to have time to wash some of the nicer stuff next week.

The electrical inspector came today... he came yesterday too, but we were out to lunch, so he let fitzw know he'd be here again this morning. Most of the rough work passed. Apparently the older side with the concrete pad is required to have GFCI outlets, so we'll have to replace those (fitzw can do this, yay!). We're also supposed to have a light that points at the new door, grr. The door's less than 10' away from the garage door, which has a light, but apparently you need to have a light for each door. So, we got a motion detector one that our electrician will have to put in.

Meantime, the renoferret's working on putting up siding, and now can work on finishing the wall insulation and putting up sheetrock inside. Yay!

Getting prize stuff ready for Crestfallen this weekend, picking things out and making sure I have all the receipts in order. Working on court documents the rest of the week as well, with help from ellid, fitzw and Phred (no journal). Have to go shopping for chicken for making Chicken Scarborough for the potluck feast, and maybe pick up a few other odds and ends.
helwen: (Default)
Well, nothing too interesting today... plan on doing lots of vaccuuming, washing, etc. Move a few small things out to the garage, finish work on some fighting tabards, and work on a couple of paintings.
helwen: (Default)
Last Saturday we went to the farm, and picked up balls of rag strips for the rug loom, a clock winder, shuttles, spool rack, and sundry other weaving-related items, plus a butternut squash, and some yellow squash and cucumbers.

Went to the fleamarket on Sunday and managed to find a few interesting things, including a very nice cobalt blue glass, which I think will be a prize at Crestfallen. Also found a pair of candlesticks that think might make decent bases for a couple of saltcellars I'm going to assemble (one for personal use and one for someone else), and an open silver salt cellar, which will probably be another of the prizes for Crestfallen.

Monday we primed the scraped wall. Sometime during the week the renoferret started putting up the siding. Looks good - will post pics when the siding's done. Still waiting for the electrical inspector...

ellid asked why we didn't make it to Barleycorn yesterday:
We got stuck on the highway, with no useful (needed E-W, not N-S) exits anywhere nearby. Took 1-1/2 hours to go about 5 miles. Turns out there was a double accident, first a single vehicle, then a tractor trailer driver ran into the parked police vehicle of the officer who'd responded to the first accident and was directing traffic and stuff. Fortunately nobody died, and the officer wasn't injured, although that was it for his car -- the trucker's vehicle pushed the car off the road and landed on top of it.

Anyway, by the time we got past that, it was late enough in the day that we would have arrived too late for the baronial and royal courts, and since we weren't staying for dinner that meant we'd be there for 2-3 hours to visit with friends. I like my friends, but that's a very long day on the road for a short visit.

So we went home and did useful things around the house, finished watching the Farscape Peacekeeper Wars movie that we recorded sometime last spring, washed the cats, made A&S tokens, did some test spinning, etc.

Yes, we had to wash Roselynde this time as well. Fortunately she's a short-hair, so one time should do it for her -- third time for poor Peredur Mawr. Roz looked incredibly Siamese when she was wet...
It looked to be mostly flea dirt and dead fleas in the rinse off, and some of them were quite small/immature, so we're hopeful that we're near the end of this business. Still don't know how he got them in the first place, since neither of them go outdoors. Our theories are that since Peredur likes to lie on the inside doormat, that a flea could have jumped in from the porch, as the cat from next door was an outside cat with no collar, or that he might have picked one up at the vet's when he was there for overnight observation when he was sick. The vets try to keep a clean environment, but you never know when an animal might come in that has fleas...

Today we're off to a site walk-through for the Crossroads at Canterbury event site. Should be fun!
helwen: (Default)
Going to the farm today. Will see how in-laws are doing. m-in-law dislocated a finger and broke a metacarpal last week, when the handrail she was leaning on at Elmer's decided to break -- but she didn't spill a drop of coffee!

Going to see what all we're bringing down of the loom and weaving equipment and supplies, and take at least some of the small stuff, like the clock winder.

Probably bring home some veggies from the truck garden as well.

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